While the NBA’s decision to hold the All-Star Weekend this season was received with scepticism from some of the league’s top stars, such as LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard, due to the pandemic among other things, a significant amount of players actually travelled to Miami for the weekend as reported by ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst.
“The place the NBA was worried about was not Atlanta, it was Miami. Because guys, last I heard there were around a 150 players who were planning to be in Miami this past weekend,” he said on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective. “And the reason I know this is because the players have to have Covid tests while they’re there and they sign up for them. So the NBA had an accurate count of how many.
“I was told, this was two days ago maybe it’s grown, I was told it was in the neighborhood of 150 players in Miami over the weekend. The testing site, which I don’t know for sure but I think was that the Heat’s facility. That’s where their apparatus was set up. They had to give the players the schedule. It was drive-through, it had multiple lanes. And they had to give the players the schedule, like, you have to come this time to get your Covid test. Otherwise they couldn’t handle the crush.
As Windhorst observed, some of the players that took part in the All-Star Game travelled to Miami afterwards as well to join the players that were there already.
“I was checking the private jet flights out of Atlanta late Sunday night and there was quite a few headed to LA, because that’s where a lot of players go,” he said. “There was a flight to Milwaukee. I think we can have a safe guess on who that flight was for. There was a flight to Columbus, Ohio. I think we can make a safe guess that was Micheal Conley. But I don’t know for sure. There’s a couple of flights to New York, there’s a flight to Dallas, a flight to Phoenix. And then a whole bunch of flights down to Miami for the guys who wanted to go join their brother down there for the few days after the All-Star Game.”