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Report: 2021 NBA All-Star Game COVID-19 Safety Protocols Revealed

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2021

The court floor and league logo are shown after Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The NBA reportedly shared the health and safety protocols it will put in place during the 2021 All-Star Weekend in Atlanta. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, players will be permitted to bring a limited number of family members who must be tested regularly for COVID-19. What's more, players and their guests will not be allowed to leave the players' hotel for any reason except All-Star activities at the arena. 

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium noted any player participating in the events must travel to Atlanta via private transportation on March 6, leave after the game ends and undergo daily testing.

Charania added more details:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

COVID-19 vaccinated individuals at All-Star -- per NBA health and safety -- are not required to undergo daily PCR testing following date of team’s last game before All-Star Game through the date that the individual is required to report back to his or her team.

Wojnarowski also reported players will be required to return to their home markets two days before their team plays its first game following the All-Star break. As a result, teams without All-Stars or with fewer All-Stars will likely start the second halves of their seasons closer to March 10 so there is more built-in leeway time for the players returning to their home markets.

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There hasn't been as much enthusiasm about holding an All-Star break during the pandemic as there is during a typical season.

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

James pointed out the offseason was shorter and players were under the impression there would be a break in the middle of the season to help recover before the playoffs then said, "And then they throw an All-Star Game on us like this and just breaks that all the way up. So, um, pretty much kind of a slap in the face."

Defending league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo echoed James' sentiments.

"I think every player was looking forward to those five days, seven days, whatever the days are," he told reporters. "We've got to all follow the big dog. The big dog says he has zero excitement and zero energy for the All-Star Game, and I'm the same way. I really right now don't care about the All-Star Game. We cannot see our families."

Alas, the NBA is proceeding with the event in Atlanta. 

Charania reported the league is planning to host the three-point contest and skills challenge during the pregame of the March 7 game. It will also host the dunk contest during halftime.

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