Captains to pick teams for NBA All-Star Game after format tweak

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The NBA All-Star Game is switching formats this season, as two captains will select the teams without regard to which conferences the players play in, the league announced Tuesday.
The players who win the fan vote from each conference will be the captains.
There will still be 12 players selected from each conference for the game in Los Angeles on February 18. Five players from each conference will be selected as starters, with the fan vote being worth 50 percent, player vote worth 25 percent and media vote worth 25 percent. Seven reserves for each team will be picked by each conference’s head coaches.
The new system will enable players from each conference to play against each other and will allow current teammates to face off. Starters will be picked first, so the 10 players voted in as starters will remain that way.
Last season, LeBron James led fan voting in the Eastern Conference and Stephen Curry had the honour in the West. All-Star voting will begin on Christmas Day.
The timing and details of the All-Star draft have not yet been determined, but it will be before All-Star Weekend. The starters will be announced January 18, the reserves January 23.
The format will add a layer of intrigue to the event, as the captains will have to consider an array of factors when making the playground-style selections. Past, current and future relationships between players might be considered when making the selections.
The change was part of a joint effort from the league and the players’ union — specifically union president Chris Paul. It was discussed over the course of the past few years. The league had revamped the voting system last season.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan, as the chairman of the owners’ labour relations committee, was heavily involved in making the change on the league side.
“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,” Paul said. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A.”
It is a part of a package of changes the NBA has made this season with fan interest in mind. Other changes include making scheduling and rule changes to reduce players missing games to rest and the reduction of timeouts to speed up end-of-game situations. (www.espn.com)
 

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