NBA changes 2018 All-Star Game format, eliminates traditional East vs. West

Kevin Love

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2017 - The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today a new All-Star Game format for NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles.

Under the revamped format, two captains will draft the 2018 All-Star teams from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves, regardless of conference affiliation.

Following similar, ultimately unsuccessful experiments in the National Hockey League and National Football League, the National Basketball Association has chose to give it a go and use the player captain format for their annual All-Star Game.

James led the entire league with almost 1.9 million All-Star fan votes last season, so there's a good chance he becomes a captain for the 2018 contest. The two players with the highest amount of fan votes from each conference receive the right to captain their respective squad. So I think for the league office, Adam Silver, Michael Levine, and all those guys to take a look at that and say it's something else we need to do to bring some excitement to it, I think that's great. Seven reserves for each team will be picked by each conference's head coaches. When you realize the interpersonal dynamics at play between certain All-Stars, suddenly there's much more drama involved.

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The NBA All-Star Game, which has been branded a meaningless exhibition in recent years, is to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 18 next year.

Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving playing on the same All-Star team? As Zillgitt notes, the game does not have to be played with the competitiveness of a Finals game, but in recent years, the exhibition had become listless, with little defense or energy.

There will also be a new charity element added to this season's game with each team selecting a national or Los Angeles-based charity where donations from the game will be directed.

Giannis Antetokounmpo wears the Nike Kobe 10 during the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. Who will be the last player chosen? "Just for the fans, to see how that plays out with different combinations" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/4).

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