The NBA and the players association are discussing a potential All-Star Weekend during the scheduled All-Star Break in March.
Back in November, the NBA announced no All-Star Game in 2021 — scheduled for Indianapolis — due to COVID-19. However, the league and the NBPA are entertaining the idea of an All-Star Game in Atlanta.
One of the concerns is an All-Star Weekend would act like a COVID-19 super spreader event. Yet, the NBA seems less worried about that possibility with Monday’s news about adding events.
Not only is an All-Star Game on the table, but discussions have added a potential Dunk Contest and 3-Point Contest.
Talks are ongoing for the full scope of what a revised All-Star 2021 would entail, but momentum was clearly building last week for an All-Star Game to take place in Atlanta — home to the TV rightsholder Turner Sports — that would require participants to be there March 6-7
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 1, 2021
If this scenario moves forward, the NBA should consider pushing back the return to regular season play.
Right now, there is no official start for the second half of the season. The All-Star Break is scheduled for March 5-10.
Initial reports were the NBA would return to play after the All-Star Break within a few days. However, that was before an All-Star Game was in the equation.
If the NBA adds not only an All-Star Game but its two biggest contests — Dunk & 3-Point — then the NBA should delay the second half of the season 10 days after the last All-Star event.
By delaying the start, the NBA can avoid any All Stars from spreading COVID — if any catch it during the All-Star Break — to their teammates.
So far, the NBA has delayed over 20 games this season due to COVID-19, whether through positive tests or contact tracing.