After learning that he would once again be an All-Star, Paul George gave his thoughts on the NBA hosting an All-Star game in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. He is against the idea, as many stars in the league are, whether it be for fear of infection or the desire for a break in the middle of a condensed and expedited season.
But George’s gripe lies in the hypocrisy of it, and he revealed new information while explaining his reasoning.
It is unclear whether George was fined by the Clippers organization or the NBA itself, but either way, his point is not invalid. If the league is supposedly so cautious about the spread of COVID-19 that they are willing to fine players for spending time with teammates (someone with whom they are already traveling, practicing and playing games), then they should have no reason to demand that the players take part in an exhibition game in the middle of the season—not to mention one that would bring together players from several different markets.
George no doubt understands that the game is being played for monetary purposes. The All-Star game is great for ratings, something the NBA is in desperate need of given the loss of gate revenue and an overall dip in viewership. The league has also justified their decision by stating that a portion of the proceeds from the game will be donated to COVID-19 relief and HBCUs.
George made it clear that, while he doesn’t agree with the league’s decision, he is in no way going to boycott the game or be uncooperative.