The NBA has come to a decision on the city of Charlotte. After taking the 2017 All-Star Game away from the city as a result of the divisive HB2 being signed into law by former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday that Charlotte is again eligible to host the 2019 edition of the game.
This comes after current North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a compromise to repeal HB2. Though stressing that it is “not a done deal,” for Charlotte to host the 2019 All-Star Game, that is the expectation. Silver said that an All-Star Game in the city would be a “powerful way to display (the NBA’s) values,” consistently citing inclusion as one of them. As part of the conditions for Charlotte to host, the NBA will develop an anti-discrimination policy and ask their partners to sign on.
“(I’m) proud of the league’s stance on opposing HB2,” Silver said when asked to reflect on his decision to pull 2017’s game from Charlotte.
However, Silver is also “proud of going back.”
When it comes to rest, Silver stressed the importance of getting rid of four games in five nights, which he said will be all but done next season. With an additional week added to the regular season to accommodate, there may be one instance of four games in five nights next season but the NBA hopes to avoid even that.
Teams have also been discouraged from resting healthy players on national TV or on the road. These were the chief concerns of business partners and fans alike, particularly after a marquee Saturday night game in March between the Golden State Warriors and San Antionio Spurs featured none of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, LeMarcus Aldridge or Tony Parker. There have also been well-publicized instances of fans driving hours only to see star players rest on the road.
However, Silver drew a distinction between the type of rest the Warriors and Spurs engage in and the type of rest in which teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns engage. “9The Lakers and Suns trying to lose) was discussed (in the Board of Governor’s meeting),” said Silver, calling it “a different kind of resting, where, frankly, teams are focused on rebuilding.”
The Lakers drew ire Wednesday night for benching Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance after getting out to a big lead against the San Antonio Spurs. They had a high incentive to lose, given that their draft pick is top-three protected. Head coach Luke Walton also played Metta World Peace for 17 minutes, the most he’s played this season, while David Nwaba was in for the entire fourth quarter.
The NBA is not considering fining teams for resting, though they could potentially issue guidelines. Shortening the season is also not in play, both due to economic implications and a belief that the data is not yet concrete enough to start that discussion.