LAS VEGAS -- NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league has yet to decide whether it will move the 2017 All-Star Game out of North Carolina due to serious issues with the state's controversial House Bill 2 law, which limits anti-discrimination protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Silver, though, acknowledged that time is running out in terms of whether the NBA will opt to make a change to a different location.
"I'd only say we're not prepared to make a decision today, but we recognize that the calendar is not our friend here," Silver said in a press conference after the Board of Governors meeting at the Encore hotel. "February is quickly approaching, and especially in terms of big events, like All-Star Games. If we are going to make alternative plans, we are going to need to do that relatively soon."
Silver said the NBA has also been studying laws in other cities and states where NBA teams play, in light of this situation.
"It's one of the reasons we've been struggling with this issue in North Carolina," Silver said when asked if another state with a similar law would prevent the NBA from holding a future All-Star Game there. "It seems that we have a unique situation in North Carolina, where we made a decision to award the game to Charlotte at a time when House Bill 2, the law in question, was not in place, and although these laws have all been shorthanded as so-called 'bathroom bills,' the fact is there are unique attributes of the law in North Carolina, as compared to other states."
"We would have to deal with every situation on its own merits," Silver added. "From the very beginning, I've been reluctant to draw bright lines. But we also deal with the practicality of what we're seeing in North Carolina. What the league announced, together with the Hornets, when this bill first passed was, putting aside what our core principles are and our belief -- which we've made very public that we feel this law is inconsistent with the core values of this league -- the primary test for us is whether under this law we can successfully host our All-Star week."
Silver said there was a long discussion about moving the All-Star Game and that "we got the views of many different owners" after there was a presentation and update on the most recent legislative session in North Carolina.
Silver said there was no vote taken by the Board of Governors and that the decision on the All-Star Game will be made by the league.
"We were frankly hoping that they would make some steps toward modifying the legislation, and frankly, I was disappointed that they didn't," Silver said. "And then coming out of that legislative session, we wanted the opportunity to talk directly to our teams."
Silver was hoping North Carolina legislators would modify the law in recent weeks. The NBA has expressed great concern with the bill -- which requires people in public schools and government buildings to use restrooms based on the gender on their birth certificates -- since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law in March.
The NBA views the law as discriminating against the LGBT community. Silver had said that the NBA would try to work behind the scenes to modify the law.
"I think this is a very difficult issue for us, and we're trying to be extremely cautious and deliberate in how we go about making the decision," Silver said. "But having said that, I recognize that we're not trying to keep everyone in suspense. We recognize this decision needs to be made fairly quickly."