Atlanta Mayor To Silver: Stay Home

The NBA All-Star Game is two weeks away.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has joined with a segment of National Basketball Association players including LeBron James in telling NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that it would not be wise to hold the league’s annual All-Star Game and skills competition in the city on March 7th. The NBA has been attempting to play through its schedule in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly oblivious to the health crisis. The league wants an All-Star Game played and to make some money off of the event. The mayor is not so sure it would be good idea for Atlanta and has told fans, rather well-heeled customers, to stay away. “People should not travel to Atlanta to party. 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.”

The Atlanta mayor added there will be “no NBA-sanctioned events open to the public” and told local businesses “not to host events in the city related to this game.” The NBA is not selling tickets to the event but may allow some first responders and health workers to watch the skills competition and the game. NBA players who are chosen to take part will have restrictions placed on them. The participants will be allowed a very limited number of guests. The players, coaches and staff must travel to Atlanta by private car or plane and the participants will be allowed to leave their hotels only for All-Star events at the arena. The games must go on as long as TV and marketing dollars are available.

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