CHARLOTTE, NC (ESPN) — The NBA has taken the step of reaching out to multiple alternative host cities as it considers its options for the 2017 All-Star Game next February in Charlotte, North Carolina, sources told ESPN.com.
The league hadn’t made a final decision as of Thursday morning but was moving closer to pulling out of Charlotte because of its objection to North Carolina House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections in the state.
The Vertical reported Thursday the league was on the verge of pulling out of Charlotte and that New Orleans had emerged as a front-runner to land the game.
Several other NBA cities have become options if the league takes the step, including Chicago and New York/Brooklyn, sources told ESPN.
After the owners’ meetings earlier this month, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged the league was mulling its options and said “the calendar is not our friend.” That was a reference to the North Carolina legislature being on summer hiatus and unable to make changes to the law as NBA has requested. It also applied to the time pressure of planning a large-scale event like All-Star Weekend.