The National Basketball Association (NBA) has confirmed it will hold the All-Star Game as planned on March 7, despite criticism over staging the game amid the coronavirus pandemic.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN's The Jump he believes holding the game is the "right thing to do".
"It's a global event for us and we're making our best efforts to embrace all aspects of our league to the extent we can through this pandemic and this is just one more opportunity," said Silver.
"I'll add that, of course I'm listening to those who don't think it's a good idea and I think that's been the cases in terms of essentially everything we've done since we shut down a little over a year ago because of the pandemic.
"There were obviously those who thought we shouldn't play without fans, thought we shouldn't play in the bubble, thought we shouldn't be playing in a very serious way because of the social justice issues roiling this country.
"So I certainly hear the other side of this issue here.
"And I'll lastly say it seems like no decisions during this pandemic come without uncertainty and come without risk.
"This is yet another one of them and, yet, it's my job to balance all those interests, and ultimately it feels like the right thing to do to go forward."
Due to COVID-19, what is normally a weekend-long event will be compressed into a single night.
No fans will be in attendance, other than around a thousand from local historically black colleges and universities.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has already asked fans not to congregate for the All-Star Game, or to visit the city, and Silver echoed that sentiment, saying there will be nothing for fans to do in Atlanta the weekend of the game.
"I don't think it will be that difficult," Silver said, of holding an All-Star Weekend without fans.
"Our event will not be open to the public...there will be roughly 1,000 people representing those institutions but there will not be tickets open to the public and I actually agree with the Mayor.
"We don't want people to gather for events around this All-Star.
"There will be absolutely no social functions in Atlanta.
"No ticketed events.
"It is a made-for television event at this point, and it's largely in Atlanta because that's where Turner Sports is located who will host this event."
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the NBA will require players to self-quarantine at home "with limited exceptions" from February 27 until they leave for Atlanta on March 6, ABC News reports.
They will be required to stay at the All-Star hotel while in Atlanta other than when they are participating in All-Star events at the arena, part of what the NBA is deeming a "mini-bubble" in Atlanta.