Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made headlines this week when he expressed his frustration and disappointment with the fact that the NBA was holding an All-Star game this year.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” he said this past Thursday.
“I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”
For James, the raging worldwide pandemic coupled with the short offseason the Lakers have been forced to endure is exhausting.
“Short offseason for myself and my teammates, 71 days,” he said. “And then coming into this season, we were told that we were not having an All-Star Game, so we’d have a nice little break. Five days [in March] from the 5th through the 10th, an opportunity for me to kind of recalibrate for the second half of the season. My teammates as well. Some of the guys in the league.
“And then they throw an All-Star Game on us like this and just breaks that all the way up. So, um, pretty much kind of a slap in the face.”
As it turns out, he was not alone in that thinking. Reigning league MVP and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo shares James’ frustration.
Now we know what motivates Gronk to play so hard. https://t.co/xFnKnjoXQ4
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 24, 2021
“We’ve got to all follow the big dog [LeBron],” he said. “The big dog says he has zero excitement and zero energy for the All-Star Game, and I’m the same way. I really right now don’t care about the All-Star Game. We cannot see our families.”
Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard echoed that sentiment, though with a more pragmatic admission of why it was all moot.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ reaction to Jordyn Woods’ Buss It video speaks for itself.
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 26, 2021
“We all know why we’re playing it,” he said. “It’s money on the line … and putting money over health, pretty much. We’re playing games now and it’s still a pandemic, we’re doing all these protocols.”
James’ point is an understandable one. Draymond Green recently highlighted how out of shape Anthony Davis has been as a result of the shortened season, so he would be one of several Lakers to greatly benefit from a rest.
It’s easy to see why McKayla Maroney’s newest video went viral. https://t.co/PtbWaRdjal
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 21, 2021
The fact that both Antetokounmpo and Leonard have come out in vocal agreement is telling.
Will the NBA ultimately listen to its superstars and backtrack on its All-Star decision in response to all this criticism?
Time will tell.