LeBron: All-Star Game ‘Slap in the Face’; Fox: ‘Stupid’ to have NBA ASG this season

By Matthew Zimmer

When Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox bluntly called the NBA’s decision to organize an All-Star Game “stupid,” some people scoffed. Well, Fox has some support from the biggest star in the association, LeBron James.

The LA Lakers star didn’t hold back in his criticism of the recent announcement that an All-Star Game will happen on March 7.

“I have zero energy and zero excitement for an All-Star Game this year,” James said after LA’s win against Denver. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”

Personally, I thought Fox was right when he said “if I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid.” Now, the NBA and the player’s association should take a step back and really ask themselves if it’s worth it.

Yes, the player’s association had to agree to the All-Star Game. However, the comments from Fox and James make it sound like the players weren’t asked their opinion at all before a deal was struck with the NBA.

If the league goes through with an All-Star Game, it will be a mistake. Players don’t seem that interested. There’s still a global pandemic going on… and the only reason to have this game is for TNT.

The game was initially canceled for being played in Indianapolis. Then, suddenly talks started around having the game in Atlanta. You know what else is in Atlanta? Turner Sports headquarters!

“Obviously, money makes the world go round, so it is what it is,” Fox said.

Oh how right he is.

James took it even a step further, specifically referring to rest.

“Short offseason for myself and my teammates, 71 days,” he said. “And then coming into this season, we were told that we were not having an All-Star Game, so we’d have a nice little break. Five days from the 5th through the 10th [of March], an opportunity for me to kind of recalibrate for the second half of the season. My teammates as well. Some of the guys in the league.

“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.”

Now, I can hear the “you get paid to play a game” crowd already warming up their keyboards. This was the shortest offseason in the history of the major four American sports — NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB — and those five days in March were the only legitimate break the players would have received.

Instead, the players could arrive on Saturday (March 6) and leave Sunday night, however the details are “still being ironed out,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Oh, and during the break non-All-Star players will be allowed to travel to other parts of the U.S. including Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Woj reports. That seems like a bad idea too.

Considering how careful the NBA was last year, and even coming into this season, I’m disappointed they’ve joined the MLB and NFL model of “let’s get more money, even if our guys get COVID.”

Maybe I’m being too harsh. However, if a player (De’Aaron Fox) says “money makes the world go round,” then maybe I’m not far off.

The best suggestion I have is wait until the end of the season — after the Finals — and then have an All-Star “weekend.”

Otherwise, this just feels like a cash grab or a situation of “let’s make our TV partner happy,” which is gross considering the threat COVID-19 still poses in the USA.

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