NBA commissioner Adam Silver will address media in Las Vegas late Tuesday, as the league is pondering whether to move the 2017 All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte over concerns with North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
Silver does a news conference in Las Vegas each July at the conclusion of league meetings in conjunction with Las Vegas summer league. Silver previously said the league has to make a firm decision on where the next All-Star Weekend will be before the fall.
“I don’t see us getting past the summer without knowing definitely where we stand” in regard to the game’s location, Silver said in June.
Silver’s news conference is tentatively scheduled for approximately 8 p.m. EDT.
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While Silver and the Charlotte Hornets have worked for months behind the scenes, advocating changes to what’s become known as HB2, the General Assembly adjourned earlier this month after making limited changes to the law, including restoring residents’ right to bring claims of discrimination in state courts.
The NBA and the Hornets issued a joint statement recently saying the compromise the General Assembly considered wouldn’t change the league’s position.
“We have been engaged in dialogue with numerous groups at the city and state levels, but we do not endorse the version of the bill that we understand is currently before the legislature,” the statement read. “We remain committed to our guiding principles of inclusion, mutual respect and equal protections for all. We continue to believe that constructive engagement with all sides is the right path forward. There has been no new decision made regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.”
The NBA has said it views HB2 as discriminatory against the LGBT community. HB2 was passed, in part, to negate a Charlotte city ordinance that would have allowed transgender individuals in government buildings to use the restrooms that conform to their gender identity.
Instead, HB2 requires transgender individuals to use restrooms in government facilities that correspond with the gender on their birth certificates.
While Silver has been hopeful for months that a compromise could be reached, he said in June the league had begun investigating alternative cities that could host the All-Star Game next February.
“We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” Silver said in April while meeting with The Associated Press Sports Editors group.
The All-Star Weekend was awarded to Charlotte last June during a major news conference at Time Warner Cable Arena that included Silver, Hornets owner Michael Jordan and North Carolina governor Pat McCrory. For now, it is scheduled for Feb. 17.
The All-Star Weekend is projected to draw the most visitors to Charlotte since the Democratic National Convention. Charlotte’s tourism arm says the event could have an economic impact of as much as $100 million.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell