The NBA has discarded the East v West All Star format ahead of the 2018 All Star weekend. This was contained in a statement on Tuesday that the game will be played without conferences in 2018.
The teams will instead be picked playground-style, by “captains,” or the leading vote-getters from the East and the West.
In the new format, there will be two captains. Those two captains that are selected will choose their squad.
The teams will play for charity, selecting a local or national organization to support and the winner will donate to a national charity in LA to help the Los Angeles area. The agreement reached between the league and the Players Association will make next year’s All-Star Game the first of it’s kind.
NBPA President and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul said they are looking forward to the new format.
“I’m thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us. We are looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in LA,” said Paul.
With an influx of star players moving to the Western Conference this offseason (Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and Paul Millsap switching Conferences), the recent development will avoid a one sided affair. The new rules mean it’s still possible we could see Steph Curry and LeBron James on the same All-Star team next year.
The voting process will stay the same, with 12 players from each conference earning a chance to play in the game. The voters will still keep the same privileges as well, with fans making up 50% of voting for the starters, and current players (25%) and media (25%) making up the rest.
The coaches who clinch the best record in their respective conferences will earn the right to coach the All-Star Game. The league’s coaches also maintain their voting privileges for the game’s 14 reserve players.
Fan voting will begin on Christmas Day.