The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced this past October that there will be a new format for this year’s All-Star Game. This will be the first time in the history of the NBA that the All-Star matchup will not be between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference teams.
With the new format, two captains will draft the 2018 All-Star teams from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves; the player’s conference or team has no bearing on these picks. The captains will be the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star player with the most fan votes.
In another new feature of the annual game, the 2018 All-Star teams will play for charity. Each team will select a Los Angeles charity or national organization where donations will be used to support efforts in the LA area.
The process for selecting the 24 All-Stars will remain the same as last year, with 12 players from each conference earning spots in the All-Star Game. The 10 starters (two guards and three forwards) will be picked by a combination of fans, players and media (50, 25, and 25 percent respectively). The NBA’s head coaches will still select the 14 reserves, voting for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players at any position in the coaches’ respective conferences.
Currently Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James is leading the Eastern Conference voting with 1,622,838 votes, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is second with 1,480,954 and former Cavalier and current Boston Celtic Kyrie Irving is in third with 1,370,643 votes. In the Western Conference Golden State Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are first and second in voting with 1,369,658 and 1,326,059 votes respectively.
NBA fans are eagerly waiting to see the results of this draft system as this could lead to potential drama. James may not draft his former teammate, or the Warriors’ four potential All-Stars may wind up on the same team. No matter what happens, the NBA has added intrigue to a game with no meaning that was beginning to lose interest for some fans. We are all the beneficiaries of this new system.
The 67th All-Star Game will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 18.