Whether the players like it or not, it looks as if the NBA will be holding an All-Star Game in Atlanta next month. Multiple players have spoken out about it, discussing their frustration with the game being held... because, well, you know... we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
Kawhi Leonard became the latest player to speak out on the game being held. Here’s what he said last night when asked following LA’s game against the Celtics.
“It is what it is at this point,” he said. “We all know why we’re playing it. It’s money on the line. It’s an opportunity to make more money. But just putting money over health right now pretty much. We’re playing games now and there’s still a pandemic. We’re doing all these protocols and rules, so it doesn’t really surprise me.”
Leonard was in third place in voting for the game when the first batch of voting was released early this week.
This follows LeBron James’ comments, saying he has zero energy and excitement for the game.
“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.
“Short offseason for myself and my teammates, 71 days. 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 [in March] from the 5th through the 10th, 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.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo also weighed in on the situation, sharing his thoughts about how it makes no sense playing the game during the break.
“I think every player was looking forward to those five days, seven days, whatever the days are. We’ve got to all follow the big dog,” Antetokounmpo said, referring to James. “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.
“Like, I can’t worry about the All-Star Game. I want to see my family. I want to go see my little brother in Spain, I want my brother to come see me,” he added. “So I’m the same way. I’ve got zero energy, zero excitement. At the end of the day, if they tell us we’re gonna show up, we’ve got to do our job. I’m always gonna do my job. I’m always showing up, showing the right example. But at the end of the day inside, deep down, I don’t want to do it. I want to get some break.”