On the NBA’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of North Carolina’s discriminatory laws towards the LGBTQ community: Cuban: “When it came up I told Adam Silver Dallas is ready, willing and able to host if they decide to move. But honestly I haven’t heard anything back from him on that so most likely it won’t happen. The only top-level thing that I got — and this has been publicly conveyed as well — is that we had so many sponsors saying that they wouldn’t participate if we did have the game (in North Carolina). The All-Star Game is kind of like the NBA’s Super Bowl. That’s where all the parties, all of our advertisers get together. That’s really where we try to connect the players with advertisers, with fans. And if the advertisers and sponsors aren’t going to be there then that doesn’t happen.
League officials also addressed the controversial anti-LGBT law in North Carolina that jeopardized the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte. In a poignant address, Golden State Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts, 63, who is openly gay, explained his meaningful and lifelong affiliation with the NBA and told league owners he didn’t feel comfortable attending the All-Star Game in Charlotte if the law remained as is.
Three people who were in the room gave USA TODAY Sports identical accounts of Welts’ heartfelt and unscripted address and provided other details of the meeting. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about what was said in the room. Rick Buchanan, the league’s general counsel, started the discussion with a straightforward update on Charlotte, including details about conversations league officials had with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte city officials and local business leaders. Silver told owners there wouldn’t be a vote on moving the game, but it was important to hear opinions of those in the room.
After Buchanan’s update, some owners reiterated the league’s core values of diversity and inclusion while acknowledging the North Carolina law is a sensitive issue. No owner spoke up and opposed relocation. Silver, owners and league executives also looked at the issue from a business standpoint. Was it a good idea to hold the league’s midseason celebratory showcase event in a city where the weekend would be overshadowed by protests and media coverage of the House Bill 2, which doesn’t afford protections to those in the LGBT community?
The NBA’s historic decision Thursday to pull the February 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte because of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation has created a venue void. And while Yahoo Sports reported that New Orleans has emerged as the front-runner to land the 2017 game, the league is considering Chicago among several potential options. The Bulls last hosted an All-Star Game in 1988 at the Chicago Stadium, with Jordan winning a memorable dunk contest against Dominique Wilkins and earning MVP honors during the game. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and son Michael, the team’s president and chief operating officer, have stated their lack of desire to host the game at the United Center out of respect for season ticket holders, who mostly get displaced when the league takes over the venue.