LeBron James is criticizing the NBA over plans to host an All-Star Game as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The Los Angeles Lakers MVP said that the idea of wanting to put together the event was like a “slap in the face” given the rising cases of the coronavirus and new variants that are developing, CBS Sports reports.
James currently leads all Western Conference players in voting and has been the captain for the last three All-Star games.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” James told reporters after a 114-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday (Feb.4). “They throw an All-Star Game on us like this, it’s pretty much kind of a slap in the face. We’re still dealing with a pandemic, with everything that’s been going on, and we’re going to bring the whole league into a city that’s still open.”
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James expressed that at the start of the season players were told that there would not be an All-Star game this season. And it would give himself and others in the league a chance to recalibrate for the second half of the season.
But the 16-time All-Star said that if he is selected to play he will not be fully present for the game.
“I’ll be there physically if I’m selected. I’ll be there physically, but not mentally,” he explained.
ESPN reports that the NBA and the NBPA agreed to hold the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7, an official announcement expected to be released this week.