The NBA released a memo of what their totally farkakte March 7 All-Star Game will look like. The Slam Dunk Contest will indeed take place during halftime of the game, and the 3-Point Contest will be held before the game. Players who are part of the game must travel to Atlanta in private jets and must test negative for COVID-19 in order to play in the Sunday game.
Players will only be allowed at the hotel and the arena, which basically defeats the whole purpose. NBA All-Star weekend is supposed to be a party, and maybe will still be one, but now you’re asking guys to be even more locked down than normal simply to put on a game that doesn’t matter.
Those who aren’t going to Atlanta can travel elsewhere other than their home markets, but can’t stay in public accommodations and still have to follow normal NBA COVID-protocols.
None of this explains why the NBA is having this, and not giving players simply a few days from being locked into hotels on the road and at least letting them spend a few days at home.
The players clearly don’t want anything to do with this, and how much hobnobbing can be done with sponsors during a pandemic, and the sponsor interactions is what really drives this in normal times, would have to be minimal. The bigwigs from Gatorade can sit this year out and the world won’t end. At least we hope it won’t.