By Teddy Brenner
ESPN is reporting that the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are progressing toward an agreement for an All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta.
Because the league reduced the regular season by 10 games and doesn’t have a separate All-Star Game television deal, the league also could have generated more revenue by filling the weekend with more regular-season games. The NBA and NBPA share roughly a 50-50 split in basketball-related income.
While a formal agreement has yet to be finalized, the NBA and NBPA have been working through the details of a scaled-down event that centers on transporting players in and out of Atlanta in a significantly shorter window of time than what would be required on a typical All-Star weekend, sources said. Safety protocols are among the details still being ironed out.
The NBA and union are increasingly confident that enough of the league’s top players are willing to participate during a tight midseason break in this condensed pandemic schedule, sources said. Outside of the conference and NBA Finals, the All-Star Game is traditionally at the top of fan engagement for the league — another motivating factor to salvage the event this season.