After officially announcing the NBA would hold an All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta, Commissioner Adam Silver joined ESPN's The Jump to discuss the decision to hold the game and the criticism that has come with it:
"It's our No. 1 fan-engagement event of the year... It's a global event for us, and we're making our best efforts to embrace all aspects of our league to the extent we can through this pandemic and this is just one more opportunity," said Silver, appearing on the show's fifth anniversary special on Thursday. "I'll add that, of course, I'm listening to those who don't think it's a good idea, and I think that's been the cases in terms of essentially everything we've done since we shut down [nearly] a year ago because of the pandemic.
"There were obviously those who thought we shouldn't play without fans, thought we shouldn't play in the bubble, thought we shouldn't be playing in a very serious way because of the social justice issues roiling this country. So I certainly hear the other side of this issue here. And I'll lastly say it seems like no decisions during this pandemic come without uncertainty and come without risk. This is yet another one of them, and yet it's my job to balance all those interests and ultimately it feels like the right thing to do to go forward."
The NBA will also be donating more than $2.5 million to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as part of holding the event, which Silver credited NBPA president Chris Paul for putting together.
In what will be an All-Star event like no other, it will be interesting to see how players perform in the game, given that there has been so much backlash from the league's top stars about holding it in the first place.