[Update] The move is now official as the NBA has released a statement, saying they hope to hold a future All-Star game in Charlotte, possibly in 2019.
You can read the full statement at the bottom of this post.
[Earlier] The NBA is “on the brink” of moving the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina – a move that NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski calls “imminent.”
The NBA has been threatening to move the game unless the state of North Carolina changed a law limiting the antidiscrimination protections for LGBT people. However, the NBA commissioner did not set deadlines or ultimatums, only saying that for logistical purposes a decision would need to be made this summer.
Those decisions appear to be close, with the game likely heading to New Orleans.
“Sources: NBA on brink of pulling 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, with New Orleans emerging as a front-runner to host Feb. 19 game … Failure of North Carolina to change discriminatory legislation targeting the state’s LGBT community pushing NBA to abandon Charlotte game.”
Wojnarowski later referred to the move as “imminent.”
Here is the statement from the NBA:
“The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019.
“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change. We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community — current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.
“We are particularly mindful of the impact of this decision on our fans in North Carolina, who are among the most passionate in our league. It is also important to stress that the City of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and that the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons — including members of the LGBT community — feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena.
“We look forward to re-starting plans for our All-Star festivities in Charlotte for 2019 provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.
“The NBA will make an announcement on the new location of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in the coming weeks.”