The NBA has made significant changes to its annual All-Star Game, the league announced in a press release Tuesday.
The teams will now be selected by captains, eliminating the old East vs. West format.
Starters will still be selected by a vote of fans, media and players, and reserves will still be selected by coaches. The captains will selectect from that pool.
Per the NBA release:
Under the revamped format, two captains will draft the 2018 All-Star teams from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves, making selections without regard for conference affiliation. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.
The 67 th All-Star Game will be played at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), with TNT televising the midseason classic for the 16th consecutive year.
“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,” said NBPA President Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A.”
“We’re excited about the new All-Star format and appreciate the players’ willingness to try something new,” said NBA President, League Operations Byron Spruell.
In another new feature, the 2018 All-Star teams will play for charity. Each team will select a Los Angeles-area charity or national organization where donations will be used to support local efforts.
Changes to the All-Star Game were “sparked by conversation” between Paul and Silver, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.