The NBA has decided to hold the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans after taking the midseason event out of Charlotte, North Carolina last month.
The league was forced to make a decision because of the HB2 state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people in North Carolina.
Michael Jordan's Charlotte Hornets and their Time Cable Warner Arena were set to host the festivities, but had to relinquish the prestigious event in light of the political developments.
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Unlike several other Southern states, Louisiana has not submitted to the same legislations that have cast a cloud over North Carolina. Governor John Bel Edwards leaned on that fact heavily while lobbying for the NBA to bring its All-Star weekend to New Orleans.
"We embrace our rich cultural heritage and see our diversity as a virtue," Edwards wrote in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in late July. "Should the NBA choose to bring the All-Star Game back to New Orleans in 2017, it will strongly reaffirm its commitment to communities that value fairness and inclusion."
Ultimately, that's exactly what the NBA want and what should be the bare minimum requisite. At a time where America is going through some growing pains socially and a series of tragedies have divided the nation in parts, this decision is a symbol of the unity and acceptance that the NBA strongly believes in.
It will be the third time New Orleans has hosted the All-Star weekend and the first time since 2014, where Pelicans forward Anthony Davis made his first appearance as an All-Star.
This decision comes as a timely economic boost for New Orleans as disastrous flooding across large parts of southeast Louisiana - that has killed at least 13 people and damaged an estimated 40,000 homes - has decimated the area, mostly around Baton Rouge.