Next NBA season appears on target to start Dec. 22 and be just 72 games, with the idea being for teams to make as much money as they can in that season — with or without fans in the building — while getting the NBA schedule back to its regular October-to-June timeline for the 2021-22 season.
That condensed timeline could be mean no All-Star Game or weekend in Indianapolis, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Another potential casualty of the 2020-2021 season and the coronavirus, sources tell ESPN: The All-Star Game. The event is scheduled for Indianapolis. No final decision has been made.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
That idea — to not have the NBA All-Star Game and the week off after it — next season has been on the negotiating table for a while. While that is a showcase event for the league, if there are no fans in the building — for the game or events like the Dunk Contest — then is it worth doing?
Indianapolis would likely just get bumped to the back of the line and host in 2024 (the 2022 game is set for Cleveland, and the 2023 game is in Salt Lake City).
There are many questions about how all this would work: Would All-Star teams still be put together? Would fans (and media, and players) still vote on the starters? Would the All-Star Game still take place with only virtual fans? Would the break be Thursday to Tuesday (as it used to be)? Would everything be canceled?
All of that has to be negotiated with the players union.
COVID-19 has upended a lot of things; the NBA All-Star Game would be another brick in that wall.