The city of New Orleans announced on Friday that they the New Orleans Smoothie King Center will be the new location of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. New Orleans also hosted the game back in 2014 and 2008.
The original location was previously set to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. However, in the state of North Carolina, there arose a great deal of backlash due to House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender citizens. This has led to many organizations, including the NBA, making the decision to not support North Carolina while the Bill is still around.
Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards has proclaimed his support while promoting the NBA to bring its annual All-Star Game to the city of New Orleans.
“We embraced our rich cultural heritage and see our diversity as a virtue,” Edwards said in a written letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver last month. “Should the NBA choose New Orleans in 2017, it will strongly reaffirm its commitment to communities that value fairness and inclusion.”
The city of Charlotte is still scheduled to host the 2019 All-Star Game since the NBA states that “there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.”
With the state of Louisiana being decimated by calamitous flooding, the decision for the NBA to host the All-Star Game is a portion of good news for the current damaged city. The flooding killed 13 people and destroyed an estimated 40,000 homes, a large majority in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s state capital.
When the All-Star game was introduced to New Orleans in 2008, The NBA players and community service projects were willing to offer a helping hand to the rebuilding communities after being decimated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The NBA will have similar opportunities in 2017 to help the flooded communities within an hour’s drive of New Orleans.
“While we move into the recovery phase of this disaster, I want to thank the NBA for the vote of confidence in our state to host this event and their support of the relief efforts currently underway,” Edwards said.
New Orleans Pelicans forward and All-Star Anthony Davis made his All-Star debut when the game was played in 2014. When the game is played in 2017 and if Davis is healthy to play in his home arena, he would be named to Western Conference All-Star team for the fourth consecutive season.
The game would be scheduled on Feb. 19, 2017, which falls during the first weekend of New Orlean’s Mardi Gras parades.
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