The NBA is playing basketball in the midst of a pandemic. Games are being postponed regularly due to contact tracing (the total is currently at 24), and most teams are playing in front of empty arenas. But the league and players association have reportedly agreed to proceed this year’s All-Star Game anyway, which will be held on March 7 in Atlanta after the conclusion of the first half of the NBA season.
If I sound a little down about the prospect, rest assured I’m not the only one. The majority of the SB Nation community — 61 percent — is not on board with having an All-Star Game this season, according to the latest NBA Reacts survey.
This isn’t to say that the league shouldn’t recognize players who are competing at an All-Star level. Fan voting is already taking place, and reigning All-Star MVP Kawhi Leonard is deservedly among the frontcourt starters for the Western Conference, though Paul George still needs some help to get into the top five. But it’s perfectly reasonable to honor the players without forcing them to congregate during their break a trip that surely won’t be as fun as previous All-Star weekends due to the health and safety protocols.
If there is an All-Star Game, fans are of a mixed opinion as to whether there should be additional events alongside the main game. There was almost an even 50-50 split when the SB Nation community was asked if skills competitions should be taking place as well.
It’s hard to think of All-Star Weekend without the dunk contest and the 3-point shootout, especially since those have been more exciting than the game itself, with the notable exception of last year’s Elam Ending. However, adding more people to the All-Star bubble would increase the health risk, and if you thought playing basketball in an empty arena was sad, wait till you see a dunk contest in front of no fans.
Then again, I might be amenable to forcing the All-Stars to fill out the other events. The best players generally skip out on the dunk contest, but if they’re the only ones available, that would be pretty fun — again, assuming there’s a game in the first place.
Even though Clippers fans currently lack confidence in the idea of an All-Star Game, they’re still plenty confident in the team itself. Fan confidence is at 90 percent this week, presumably down a smidge after the loss to the Nets. A win against the Celtics Friday could bump that back up to 100 percent.
If you want to see more Clippers content included in SB Nation Reacts each week, we need Clippers fans to jump into the fray. You can not only give your input on the NBA at large, but weigh in on how you think the Clippers are doing each week.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.