NBA defends decision to bring All-Star game back to Charlotte


CHARLOTTE - The NBA is defending its decision to bring the All-Star Game back to Charlotte.

The game will be at the Spectrum Center in two years.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver not only defended the decision to return to Charlotte, but also said the league is making an example out of it.

Silver said the NBA will send a message in Charlotte in 2019.

"There is a role that the league can play in, demonstrating what equality looks like to a community," Silver said.

He talked about several topics before Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night.

He addressed criticism over whether North Carolina lawmakers did enough by repealing House Bill 2 in March.

The bill required people to use the bathroom of their biological sex.

"Trying to measure precisely if it was enough progress, we ultimately felt it was," Silver said.

Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority officials said they are on board with the NBA's philosophy to use the All-Star Game as a platform for non-discrimination.

But there are mixed feelings among Charlotte locals and fans.

Resident Jovan Disnuke is more interested in the All-Star Game than league's social statements.

"It's the same thing as when they were speaking up for Black Lives Matter, and any other social injustice," Disnuke said. "You know, it's a platform."

Others said the NBA should have pushed the legislature harder.

"It would be more appropriate to be more demanding of the state to actually fight for transgender rights here," resident Sebastian Feculak said.

The NBA has expressed a determination in leading the way in that fight.

There are still plans to organize a committee that includes the Charlotte Hornets, along with city and county leaders, to make sure the All-Star game is a success.

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