The NBA pulled its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte last year after the passage of a controversial North Carolina law that prevented cities from instituting anti-discrimination ordinances.
The league could very well award its 2019 midseason showcase to the city as a way to trumpet the virtues it believes that since-repealed law threatened.
Commissioner Adam Silver said at a news conference Friday that Charlotte is under consideration to host the 2019 game now that HB2 has been repealed and replaced with a compromise bill. That move by the legislature last week already has prompted the NCAA to put North Carolina back in the mix to host its championship events, something that had been pulled from the table last August.
The NCAA noted in announcing that decision earlier this week that it was doing so "reluctantly," as it considers the replacement measure signed last week by new Gov. Roy Cooper "far from perfect."
Silver's aim appears to be turning the issue on its headvia the international spotlight the NBA All-Star Game brings with it.
"An All-Star Game in Charlotte could be a powerful way to display our values of inclusion," Silver said Friday, via the Charlotte Business Journal. "It's not a done deal yet. We now need to go back to Charlotte … and develop an anti-discrimination policy as part of our festivities."
The 2017 game was relocated to New Orleans and the 2018 edition is slated for Los Angeles, so 2019 is the next opportunity for Charlotte, but all signs point to it getting done and Silver indicated a decision would be coming soon.