When the NBA decided to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, the hot rumor for the replacement city was New Orleans. Turns out that rumor was valid.
The Associate Press is now reporting that the 2017 All-Star Game will in fact be held in New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center, home of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo originally reported that the NBA would likely look to New Orleans as a replacement host for All-Star Weekend.
You might have thought a state like Louisiana wouldn’t be much better suited than North Carolina but Louisiana is not one of the states that passed a similar law to HB2 regarding transgendered people and privacy concerns. In fact, Governor John Edwards proudly touted the state’s record when pitching the NBA on a third ASG appearance in The Big Easy back in July.
“We embrace our rich cultural heritage and see our diversity as a virtue. Should the NBA choose to bring the All-Star Game back to New Orleans in 2017, it will strongly reaffirm its commitment to communities that value fairness and inclusion.”
New Orleans previously hosted the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in 2008 after the city had rebuilt itself from Hurricane Katrina as well as 2014.
The 2017 All-Star Game is currently scheduled for February 19, which would coincide with the first weekend of Mardi Gras parades. That’s still early enough in the festivities that it shouldn’t be too much of a logistical nightmare for the city and visitors looking for places to stay.