Report: NBA Plans to Feature Dunk Contest During Halftime of 2021 All-Star Game

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 10, 2021

Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. competes in the NBA All-Star slam dunk contest in Chicago, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The NBA is moving forward with plans to hold its annual Slam Dunk Contest during halftime of this year's All-Star Game, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 7 in Atlanta.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski also reported the three-point and skills competitions are expected to occur on the same evening as well.

All-Star plans have been adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's All-Star Weekend was scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, but the weekend was postponed in November in favor of a break between the first and second halves of this year's regular season.

Plans changed, however, and now the league plans to hold a one-day All-Star event in Atlanta.

Holding an All-Star event has been met with much resistance, with stars such as Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Sacramento Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox expressing concerns.

"I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year," James told reporters. "I don't even understand why we're having an All-Star Game."

James also called the decision, which was jointly made between the NBA and NBPA, a "slap in the face" amid the ongoing pandemic.

"I'll be there physically but not mentally," James added.

Per Wojnarowski, the NBA and NBPA are expected to announced final and formalized plans for the one-day All-Star event "later this week."

Wojnarowski also added details regarding transportation of players to and from Atlanta amid the pandemic:

"The league and union have been working through the details of a scaled-down event that centers on transporting players in and out of Atlanta in a significantly shorter window of time than what would be required on a typically expanded All-Star weekend. Players are expected to arrive in private planes on Saturday, stay in private accommodations away from hotel crowds and leave immediately after the game on Sunday night, sources said."

The first half of the NBA schedule is set to conclude on Thursday, March 4, with the All-Star festivities occurring three days later. The second half will begin on Thursday, March 11.