Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

N.C. law might trigger '17 All-Star Game move

North Carolina's adoption of a law limiting LGBT protections has some wondering whether the NBA, known for its advocacy of civil rights, will opt out of having its All-Star Game in Charlotte next year.

Warriors star Stephen Curry, the reigning league MVP who grew up in Charlotte, even said Friday during practice he hopes the city will find a way to still host.

Speaking to reporters at the Warriors' shootaround Friday, Curry said the game would be "huge for the city, just to show what Charlotte's all about," the San Jose Mercury News reported. "Hopefully they can figure it out and keep it there."

The NBA, set to host its 2017 All-Star Game at Time Warner Cable Arena, said Thursday of the new N.C. measure that it is "deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect."

The league said it doesn't yet know what impact the law will have on its "ability to successfully host" the event.

This isn't the first time the NBA has criticized what it sees as actions it sees as antithetical to the cause of racial or LGBT equality, notes Chicago sports business consultant Marc Ganis. Take former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, for example. The league forced him to sell after his racist comments about former L.A. Lakers standout Magic Johnson.

"Though it is difficult to move an NBA All-Star game, it's something I could see them doing," Ganis told the Charlotte Observer.

The Hornets said Friday said the team is opposed to discrimination in any form, and will work "to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome while at work or attending NBA games and events at Time Warner Cable Arena."

The N.C. legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory was a response to a provision in Charlotte's expanded nondiscrimination ordinance that would allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify.

Sending a message that is at odds with widely accepted values of equality is "probably not good for the state," said John Sweeney, a sports communications professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "A lot of our social issues have played out on the public stage of sports, because athletics are a place where the chairman and lowest level employee can both relate, the rural and the urban both relate."

Charlotte was awarded the NBA All-Star game last June, and the game will mark its first time hosting in 26 years. The city agreed in 2014 to pay $27.5 million toward improvements to the Time Warner Cable Arena. And while the NBA saw those improvements as key to any All-Star bid, they weren't directly tied to the game.

Sorry for speeding, video: Warriors forward Draymond Green says he learned to use better judgment after a video posted on his Snapchat account showed the speedometer of a BMW reaching 118 mph. "It's one of those things where it's not something that's the end of the world, and it's not something that's costly in any type of way, but it's something that's harsh enough to show me and teach me a lesson of you have to understand where you are in your life, where your life has went, and act accordingly," Green told KNBR-AM on Thursday, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Game highlights: Andre Drummond had 18 points and 14 rebounds as the host Pistons overwhelmed Charlotte with their highest-scoring first half of the season en route to a 112-105 win over the Hornets. Detroit won its fifth straight, taking a two-game lead over Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Kemba Walker had 25 of his 29 points in the first half for Charlotte.

Around the league: Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he plans to keep general manager Milt Newton on through the draft and free agency before making a decision on his long-term future with the franchise. Newton was elevated to the primary decision-maker after the death of Flip Saunders, who was both president of basketball operations and coach, shortly before the season.

Pistons 112, Hornets 105

CHARLOTTE (105): Batum 4-12 1-1 10, Williams 2-6 3-3 7, Zeller 4-5 0-0 8, Walker 9-18 5-5 29, Lee 3-6 0-0 8, Jefferson 4-12 0-0 8, Lin 2-11 0-0 4, Kaminsky 1-3 0-0 3, Lamb 3-6 3-6 11, Daniels 1-5 1-1 4, Hawes 2-6 0-0 5, Hansbrough 1-2 3-4 5, Gutierrez 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 37-93 17-22 105.

DETROIT (112): Harris 1-7 5-5 7, Morris 8-14 1-3 20, Drummond 9-14 0-2 18, Jackson 6-19 5-5 17, Caldwell-Pope 8-13 3-4 21, Tolliver 4-9 0-0 11, Johnson 1-4 0-0 2, Blake 0-3 0-0 0, Baynes 5-8 6-7 16, Bullock 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 42-91 20-26 112.

Charlotte 24 32 20 29— 105

Detroit 36 36 26 14— 112

3sCharlotte 14-30 (Walker 6-9, Lamb 2-3, Lee 2-4, Hawes 1-1, Kaminsky 1-2, Batum 1-3, Daniels 1-3, Williams 0-2, Lin 0-3), Detroit 8-30 (Morris 3-7, Tolliver 3-7, Caldwell-Pope 2-4, Johnson 0-1, Blake 0-2, Harris 0-4, Jackson 0-5). ReboundsCharlotte 47 (Batum, Jefferson 7), Detroit 69 (Drummond 14). AssistsCharlotte 24 (Batum 7), Detroit 22 (Jackson 7). FoulsCharlotte 21, Detroit 22. TechnicalsDetroit defensive three second. A17,209 (22,076).

Timberwolves 132, Wizards 129, 2OT

MINNESOTA (132): Wiggins 4-14 8-8 16, Dieng 8-11 1-1 18, Towns 12-21 2-2 27, Rubio 4-12 4-4 13, LaVine 10-17 0-0 25, Jones 3-6 2-2 8, Muhammad 2-4 2-2 6, Bjelica 4-5 2-2 10, Prince 2-3 0-0 4, Smith 2-3 1-1 5. Totals 51-96 22-22 132.

WASHINGTON (129): Porter 6-13 0-0 14, Morris 2-4 2-2 7, Gortat 8-11 3-8 19, Wall 8-22 3-3 22, Beal 9-18 4-4 26, Thornton 1-3 1-2 3, Nene 8-12 3-4 19, Dudley 4-8 0-0 10, Temple 1-3 0-0 3, Sessions 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 50-100 16-23 129.

Minnesota 27 35 23 24 12 11— 132

Washington 29 33 27 20 12 8— 129

3sMinnesota 8-26 (LaVine 5-9, Towns 1-2, Dieng 1-2, Rubio 1-5, Jones 0-1, Bjelica 0-1, Prince 0-1, Muhammad 0-1, Wiggins 0-4), Washington 13-29 (Beal 4-7, Wall 3-7, Porter 2-3, Dudley 2-5, Morris 1-1, Temple 1-3, Nene 0-1, Thornton 0-2). ReboundsMinnesota 46 (Towns 10), Washington 56 (Gortat 14). AssistsMinnesota 33 (Rubio 7), Washington 37 (Wall 16). FoulsMinnesota 22, Washington 22. TechnicalsMinnesota defensive three second. A20,356 (20,308).

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