Having an NBA All-Star game during a pandemic while the league strengthens mask regulations and half court mingling has seemed nonsensical over recent weeks. So much so that stars like LeBron James have spoken out against the idea. Heck, the Mayor of Atlanta is urging fans not to flock to the city for partying on All Star Weekend.
So why would the NBA go to great lengths to tick off players and a mayor in holding this event? The NBA on TNT’s Jared Greenberg believes he has the answer:
“At first I was really against it and I didn't understand it, but then when you really break it down, it's like if you if you have a problem with the NBA holding an All Star game and listen absolutely health and safety and it needs to be at the forefront, right? Like we need to prioritize that. It was being done recklessly then that's a problem, but if it's being done with health and safety in mind, then if you have a problem with that, then why are you OK with them playing on a random Tuesday night in February?
The thing about it is the reason why they're playing on a Tuesday night in February is because we're a business, Greenberg said.
He added “Tt's about making money, which is hard to hear. It's unfortunate to talk about, but the bottom line is that's why we're playing basketball and the All Star Game is one of the biggest revenue generating events of the year. And in terms of people watching historically, it's been the third highest rated event. of the year for the NBA on television only behind the NBA Finals in the conference finals. So, if you're going to play on a random Tuesday night in February, a regular season game, then why wouldn't you want to play something that's going to actually be more significant towards your business?”
The All Star Game, as with most things in life, is coming down to a saying as old as time: Follow the money.