The All-Star weekend was one of the prized possessions that the pandemic took away from NBA fans. Every year players enjoy a mid-season break and participate in the All-Star game for their chosen charity. Although NBA and NBPA are still in discussions to arrive at a date and specifics of the agreement, the event is not off the table as was the case before the season.
In a regular season, some of the main events of the All-Star game were Skills Challenge, 3-point shooting contest, Dunk contest, celebrity all-star game, and the main event of all the East vs West on Sunday night. But in 2018 East vs West concept was done away with when LeBron James came to the western conference. Last year, however, the game was played in an entirely new way in honor of NBA great Kobe Bryant.
The classic East vs West is set to make a comeback this season instead of the top 2 votes players choosing their team. This has led to a change in voting procedure as well. If all goes according to the plan, we will see LeBron James and Stephen Curry playing together on the same team for the first time.
NBA to condense All-Star weekend format in accordance with covid protocols
Traditionally, it is a media-intensive event and open for fans to communicate with their favorite basketball stars one-on-one. This fun-filled All-Star weekend was up in the air prior to the start of the 2020-21 NBA season about covid protocols. However, with the world slowly going back to normal, NBA and NBPA engaged in discussions regarding the All-Star game.
Story filed to ESPN: The NBA and NBPA are progressing toward an agreement for an All-Star Game on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, a single-night event that would encompass an Eastern vs. Western Conference game and skills competitions, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 2, 2021
NBPA President Chris Paul is said to have been enthusiastic about it. Although both parties are progressing towards an agreement the All-Star weekend will be quite different this year.
It will be a single-night event, unlike the regular All-Star weekend that lasts 3 days with numerous events lined up. The agreed-upon date is March 7th in Atlanta which will only include the East vs West main game and Skills challenges. NBA and NBPA have decided to completely do away with the celebrity game, media day, halftime performances, etc.
NBPA has stressed picking historically black colleges for charity this year due to the ongoing BLM movement. In addition, players can opt out of the event if they wish to which was not allowed previously. With all these flexibilities, the All-Star game is bound to happen this year.
Procedure to vote for All-Star game
The NBA has changed its usual All-Star voting method with the classic East vs West system back. Previously it was google supported and fans were allowed to vote any 10 players from East and/or West of their choice every day. They were at liberty to vote for the same player 10 times every day if they chose to.
This year though, NBA has changed the voting procedure drastically. Fans are permitted to vote for 5 players from the eastern conference and 5 players from the western conference and one player in each position per day. Voting began on January 28th and is set to end on February 15th with NBA announcing the results on February 23rd.
Steps to vote:
- Visit vote.nba.com
- Click on the icon with the plus symbol and choose players listed in the frontcourt section and backcourt section in both conferences.
- After reviewing the picks, click on review and submit.
- Enter your name and email ID to finalize and agree to terms and conditions.
To vote again within 24 hours use a different device and email ID.