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Adam Silver: NBA must decide on moving Charlotte All-Star Game this summer

Commissioner Adam Silver has threatened to move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND, Calif. – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league will make a decision this summer as to whether Charlotte, N.C., will remain the host city for the 2017 All-Star Game.

“Realistically, this summer,” Silver said in his press conference before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. “I don’t see we would get past this summer without knowing definitively where we stand.”

Charlotte’s status as the host of next year’s All-Star Game has been in limbo ever since the controversy began surrounding House Bill 2, the North Carolina law that overturned prior protections for gay and transgender people.

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With there being no movement between the Charlotte City Council – which originally passed a law providing additional protections for gay and transgender people – and the state legislature on changing the law, time is running out for the state to review its position on the law before the league will have to make its decision.

Silver said last month the NBA will move the game if the law isn’t changed, but said Thursday that he’s optimistic the people in North Carolina will come to an agreement that will allow for the game to remain there.

He did, however, say the league is beginning to examine alternative sites for a possible move of the game, in the event the law doesn’t change and the game does have to go elsewhere.

“We are looking at alternatives,” Silver said. “So the critical date for us is are we in a position, if for some reason we don’t move forward in Charlotte, to play our All-Star Game somewhere else? We are in the process of looking at other options.”

In his comments, Silver noted the complexities of the issue.

“People have good will,” Silver said. “People from both sides of the aisle and people who have very differing views on this issue are coming together and saying this is now an issue much bigger than North Carolina … but I think the community is coming together in North Carolina in a very productive way in recognizing changes should be made.

“One of the core principles, underlying principles of this league is diversity and inclusion. I think people understand that’s one of our values. It was a value built from the ground floor up in this league long before I ever got involved in it, and I’m sort of carrying the mantle now. But I know I speak on behalf of our owners, our teams and our players. I think they all feel very strongly that this is a core principle of our league, and that where we choose to celebrate something like an All-Star Game, that those values should be honored.”

The NBA would just be the latest company to move business out of North Carolina in the wake of the law being passed. Performers have canceled concerts, most notably Bruce Springsteen, while PayPal stopped plans to expand in Charlotte.