While many cities would be excited to host an NBA All-Star Game, the pandemic has Atlanta officials asking fans to avoid the city and any possible events ahead of this year's game.
In a statement, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the All-Star Game is only for television and discouraged any outside activity related to the game.
Under normal circumstances, we would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to host the NBA All-Star game, but this is not a typical year. I have shared my concerns related to public health and safety with the NBA and Atlanta Hawks. "We are in agreement that this is a made-for-TV event only, and people should not travel to Atlanta to party. There will be no NBA sanctioned events open to the public and we strongly encourage promoters, clubs, bars, etc. not to host events in the city related to this game.
For the players that make it to the All-Star Game, 3-point contest, or Slam Dunk contest, there will be some heavy rules put on their movement. According to ESPN, the league memo says everyone traveling to and from Atlanta will do so by private transportation and will have to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test on March 6 and 7 before participating in All-Star activities. They will also be allowed to have a "limited" amount of family or close friends with them.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the NBA plans to hold the 3-Point Contest and Skills Challenge before the All-Star Game on March 7th. The Slam Dunk Contest will take place at halftime of the game.
The question will be which players participate and how much. Superstar LeBron James has been outspoken about his desire not to play the game. However, the NBA and the NBA Players Association have been negotiating the rules and the game itself, which means the players will have signed off on the game at some point.