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One-on-one: should the NBA have an All-Star Game?

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmonds jump for the tip-off during the last NBA All-Star game. Photo via Chicago Sun-Times.

It’s a waste – By Colin Davern, Contributor

COVID-19 has canceled the NHL and MLB all-star games alongside the NFL Pro Bowl. Not many were bummed out by it, with many hardly even noticing the absences of the exhibitions. The NBA is determined to not follow suit with other leagues and host their game anyway, but their effort to do so is rather pointless. 

With people mostly shrugging their shoulders to other leagues not having an all-star event, there’s little reason to believe it should be different in basketball. 

The league will be bringing back the format from last season that paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, but with more than a year passing since his tragic death, the emotions won’t be as strong as they once were. 

The league’s best hope is that the rule of having a target game-winning score instead of a game clock in the 4th quarter will be something that continues to make the game entertaining this year and in the future. Right now, it’s hard to tell how much that had an influence on the 2020 game being one to remember, when the emotions were already running high.

The other reason the league should’ve scrapped the game is the fact that players themselves don’t want to play. Lakers superstar LeBron James said he has zero intention of playing in the game and would rather take the long break to rest up for the second half of the season. Plenty of other players likely have a similar view on the game. With a handful of superstars not participating in the game, it’ll likely be a snoozefest like it had been for several years before 2020. 

All-star games in sports have largely lost their relevance, and the NBA is no exception. Players almost give negative effort on defense, and the scores have seen point totals you’d never see even in today’s league where defense is hardly present.

With COVID-19 putting a huge amount of strain on the players this season, the long break halfway through the season will be more valuable than having to fly to Atlanta to play in a meaningless exhibition game.

The fans need a show – By Francisco Alonzo, Contributor

In recent months, we have witnessed how a pandemic has changed the way we live, thus also affecting the world of sports. 

A couple of days ago, the NBA made the list of players nominated for the all-star game official. Many people are asking the same question: is it a good decision to have the all-star game this year, or should it be canceled due to the current circumstances? 

The league wants the game to be played as planned so the fans can enjoy a good show, and I agree. 

If the game had happened a few months ago, my opinion on this matter would probably be totally different. However, since the country has begun to vaccinate the population and the league has taken the necessary measures to ensure the health of its players, conditions today are favorable to have the match. 

The NBA has been successful in terms of protocols. In the last couple of weeks, they have managed to keep any new COVID-19 cases under control. 

Whenever someone tests positive, isolation protocols are helpful at preventing the virus from spreading to other teams. They expect the number of cases to remain low for the next few weeks. 

As long as these measures and regulations are followed throughout the event, there should be no risk to either the players or the staff at the event. The league should start testing the players who will be present at least a week in advance to ensure that they are fit to play and they do not infect any of their colleagues.

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