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LeBron James calls upcoming All-Star Game ‘a slap in face’ to players. Here’s why

LeBron James slammed the potential NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James watches play against the Denver Nuggets from the bench during the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James watches play against the Denver Nuggets from the bench during the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. LeBron James slammed the potential NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night.

Marj J. Terrill, Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James slammed the possibility of an NBA All-Star Game after his team’s victory over the Denver Nuggets Thursday night.

What happened?

It was reported Thursday that the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association will likely finalize a deal to host an All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta, ESPN reports.

  • The single-game event will feature the Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams facing off against each other, as well as the normal skills competition.
  • The two sides are still ironing out safety protocols to keep everyone safe.

LeBron James reacts

James — when asked about the All-Star Game on Thursday night — called it a “slap in the face” for players.

  • “I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” he said after a 114-93 win over the Denver Nuggets. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”
  • Short offseason for myself and my teammates. It was 71 days. And then coming into this season, we were told that we were not having an All-Star Game, so we’d have a nice little break.

  • Five days (in March) from the fifth through the 10th, an opportunity for me to kind of recalibrate for the second half of the season — my teammates as well, some of the guys in the league. And then they throw an All-Star Game on us like this and just breaks that all the way up. So, um, pretty much kind of a slap in the face.”

Meanwhile ...

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night. And James had a banner night, passing Wilt Chamberlain in the number of field goals made. James trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time leader with 15,837, and Karl Malone, with 13,528, according to CNN.