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Orlando mayor: NBA has “moral obligation” to bring All-Star Game to city

Nov 16, 2011, 10:04 AM EDT

Amway-Center

All-Star Weekend — from the rookie game to the dunk contest to the parties and, oh yea, the game — is at the top of the list of the things looking like it is toast because the NBA and its players can’t find a rational middle ground. Even if there is a condensed season, the showcase weekend may be called off as it was in 1999 (the last lockout-shortened NBA season).

That does not make the mayor of Orlando happy. This year’s game was going to be a showcase weekend for his city’s downtown.

And if it’s not happening in 2012, he wants it to happen soon, he told the Orlando Sentinel (via SLAM).

“I would think they [the NBA] would have a moral obligation to give us a second All-Star game since we wouldn’t be getting the All-Star game in the fashion that it was promoted to us,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer acknowledged.

First off, never use the phrases “moral obligation” and “All-Star Game” in the same sentence, Mayor. You have moral obligations to help keep your constituents safe, you have a moral obligation to help the homeless in your city; you do not have a moral obligation to bring them some kind of NBA-fueled party. Maybe an All-Star Weekend would be good for the city and a nice boost for some hotels and restaurants, but “moral obligation” overstates the case.

Dyer’s follow-up point that even if there is an All-Star Game this season, it will be tainted is valid. At this point, the NBA celebrating itself the way All-Star Week would come off as more out of touch with reality than the owners and players already seem to most fans. Which is hard to do. It may be better to just walk away for a year.

Hey, Dyer and Orlando, if you want the game in 2014 (it looks like 2013 is returning to Houston) then push the league for it. You and Brooklyn and whatever other cities are clamoring to host the event (not Las Vegas, they didn’t enjoy the experience) can fight it out. But nobody has any “moral obligations” to play a basketball game anywhere.

  1. hail2tharedskins - Nov 16, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    I don’t have a problem with his comment about ‘moral obligation’. You point out his repsponsibilities to his constituents, well one of those responsibilities is economic. He has an obligiation to boost the local economy. All-Star is more than just a party, it is a party to the players and fans, but for local businesses it is a huge economic coup. Even a city like Los Anegels sees a huge economic impact from the event, so imagine what it can do for a small city like Orlando. Also keep in mind one of the reasons the city agreed to use city funds to help build the arena is that it expects to get a return on that money from events like All-Star Weekend. The game itself might not be important, but the event is actually a pretty big deal for the cities that host it.

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