Changes are coming to the format for the NBA All-Star Game.
Most notably, the two conferences will not compete against one another beginning with this season’s All-Star game in Los Angeles.
The new format will have a “captain” from each team select players to fill out his roster.
Players who have never had the chance to play with each other will finally get to share a court, playing for the same side. Imagine Chris Paul throwing lobs to Giannis Antetokounmpo or LeBron James running the fast break with Russel Westbrook.
Another way the new format will spice up the previous format: current teammates will have the chance to face off with each other for bragging rights. Can Draymond Green shut down Kevin Durant? Who is the best big in New Orleans, Anthony Davis or Boogie Cousins?
Now while the actual game format will be different, the voting process will remain unchanged.
The Eastern and Western conferences will still each provide 12 players for the competition, with 10 voted by fans, media, and players and the final spots chosen by the team’s respective head coach.
Keeping the voting process the same is good news for fringe All-Star players like Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward, whose path is made easy by the lack of stars in the East, but another gut punch for the Damian Lillard’s and Mike Conley’s of the West.
Another, more positive, wrinkle added to this year’s All-Star game: the teams will be competing for charity. Each team will select a Los Angeles-area charity for which to compete and raise funds.
The updated format will hopefully bring some much needed freshness — and competition — to a yearly event that many believed was growing stale.
The chance to have another Kevin Durant vs. Russell Westbrook matchup in prime time is all you need to sell fans on the idea.
The NBA All-Star game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 at 8 p.m. EST. TNT will broadcast the game for the 16th consecutive year.