2017 NBA All-Star Game moved to New Orleans
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In two weeks, various NBA players will arrive for the annual All-Star Game, but the voyage to New Orleans did not avoid controversy.
The All-Star Game will be hosted at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Smoothie King Center, home of the New Orleans Pelicans. The privilege of hosting was originally given to Charlotte, North Carolina, but after the passing of House Bill Two in March, the league decided to move the game away from Charlotte. HB2, known as the “Bathroom Bill,” states that any person must use the bathroom corresponding to their sex assigned at birth.
The NBA released an official statement regarding the move.
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community—current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans,” the NBA said. “While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.”
After the NBA handed over this year’s game to New Orleans, the NBA indicated that Charlotte could receive another chance to host the All-Star Game in 2019.
“We look forward to re-starting plans for our All-Star festivities in Charlotte for 2019 provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter,” the NBA said.
With New Orleans hosting the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2017, this will be the third time in 10 years that the city has hosted the event. The Crescent City hosted the game for the first time in 2008 and again in 2014.
“New Orleans is a world-class destination for sports and entertainment and we are very appreciative that the city is once again hosting our All-Star festivities,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
Apart from the All-Star Game, there will be several other events happening at the Smoothie King Center in February. These events include the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday, Feb. 17, the Banco Bilbal Vizcaya Argentaria Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 and the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18.
The All-Star Game itself will tip off at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19.