With All-Star voting already underway, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association are nearing an agreement to hold both a Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Contest in addition to an All-Star Game on March 7, according to reports.
All-Star festivities are expected to be held at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, one of the NBA arenas that’s allowing limited fan capacity. The 2021 All-Star Weekend was originally set to be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis but was postponed; Indianapolis has been rewarded the 2024 All-Star Game instead.
NBPA president Chris Paul has been a prominent voice in support of hosting an All-Star Game in Atlanta — a move that will provide funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and provide COVID-19 relief.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, fan engagement is one of the motivating factors for hosting All-Star events despite the significant concerns caused by the relentless Coronavirus pandemic.
However, participation in the All-Star events isn’t expected to mandatory. Players will be able to opt-out in the same manner that they were allowed to opt-out of playing in the Orlando bubble and the 2020-21 season.
With voting ending on Feb. 16, starters for the 2021 All-Star Game will be announced on Feb. 18 and reserves will be announced on Feb. 23.