NBA Won’t Hold 2017 All-Star Game in North Carolina

Photo by Rich Arden / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The NBA is exploring alternative host cities for its 2017 All-Star Game now that it has decided to remove the game from North Carolina, ESPN reports.

The league announced its decision not to hold the event in North Carolina Thursday. It had been considering the move over its objection to North Carolina House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections in the state. Sources told ESPN that cities including New York, Brooklyn and Chicago “have become options” for the All-Star Game.

In a statement Thursday, the NBA noted that the league and the Charlotte Hornets “have been working  diligently [since March] to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change.” The league says it hopes to reschedule an All-Star Game in Charlotte for 2019.

“We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league,” the NBA statement reads. “These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”

In a statement, the Charlotte Hornets said they understood the decision and the challenges that would have come with keeping the game in Charlotte. “There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so,” the team said.

After the owners’ meetings earlier in July, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the league was considering its options. The league had requested changes to the law, but with the North Carolina legislature on summer hiatus, time for such changes is short.

Yahoo’s The Vertical reported Thursday that the league was on the verge of pulling the game from Charlotte, and that New Orleans could be a frontrunner to play host.

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