The Charlotte Hornets unveiled a refurbished basketball court in Charlotte early Tuesday, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver was in attendance. Silver was asked after the event for his thoughts on the league taking the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte.
Well, bringing the 2019 NBA All-Star Game to Charlotte is a “high priority”, according to the commissioner.
"We were in an unfortunate position that we were moving the game," Silver said Tuesday following a ceremony in Charlotte in which Hornets owner Michael Jordan unveiled the first of three refurbished neighborhood basketball courts. "So, for me, it is a high priority given the investments in the arena, given the investments in the team that Michael and his ownership group has made, and the city and state have made in the Hornets."
This is mostly generic PR speak, but it signals that Silver is well aware of how much the decision to move the All-Star Game hurt the city. Charlotte has spent the last decade modernizing uptown and upgrading the Spectrum Center, indirectly (and directly) preparing itself for an event of this calibre.
The 2019 NBA All-Star Game seems like a nice consolation prize, all things considered. But there’s a catch. House Bill 2 has to go.
"The issues that we are primarily focused on are those of acceptance and inclusiveness -- and the bill goes far beyond directing what bathrooms people should use," Silver said. "From that standpoint, it has been misrepresented. Ultimately for us, it's about creating the right environment, specifically for a celebratory event like our All-Star team."
We’ve detailed the effects of HB2 and the NBA’s position on the matter in the past, and while we’re still a ways away from actually repealing it, its demise does seem predestined. Many organizations have scrapped plans to host events in North Carolina and dozens more have taken bold stands against Gov. Pat McCrory with outspoken letters.
If you’d like to see HB2 go, you can make your voice heard in the upcoming gubernational election on Nov. 8.
But even that may not be enough. From our good friend Alexandria:
@At_The_Hive pic.twitter.com/nZJv4sOk1E— Alexandria (@realAlexaD) October 18, 2016
I’m an optimist, so I’m hoping all goes well and we get an All-Star Game in 2019. We’ll see what happens.