NBA is thinking of altering the All-Star Game's structure, perhaps reintroducing East vs. West.
It looks like an East versus. West scenario for the NBA All-Star Game is coming soon. In a televised interview on ESPN on Tuesday, Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the All-Star Game will be changing.
Although he did not state that a decision has been made, he did imply that the current structure, in which the top vote-getters captain their own teams and choose their starting lineups, might be abandoned.
In the discussion with ESPN's "First Take," Silver suggested that the teams might be presented in a more conventional manner. "We sort of went to this captain-draft idea, but we are looking at it because historically, it was clearly East vs. West."
The 2019 All-Star Game will take place on February 18 in Indianapolis. Any format adjustments have not yet been declared by the league. The format of the first 66 All-Star Games was East vs. West.
Over the past six seasons, the top vote-getters from each conference have been appointed captains, who get to choose their own teams. LeBron James has been a captain six times, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo three times, Kevin Durant twice, and Stephen Curry once.
To guarantee that the contest concludes with a made shot, the last four All-Star Games have employed a target score at the conclusion of each game. Fourth quarters are not timed; the winner is the first team to score 24 points, which is a reference to Kobe Bryant's final jersey number, plus whatever the winning team had after three quarters.
There was a very dramatic fourth quarter in the first year of the target scoring structure. Nevertheless, the All-Star Game from the previous season was nearly entirely uncompetitive and a broadcast ratings catastrophe, in part due to the absence of some of the top names, including James, Durant, Curry, Antetokounmpo, and Durant, for most of the game due to injury.
Lauri Markkanen of Utah said following the All-Star Game of the previous season, "I mean, it's fun to kind of get out there and do some dunks and stuff like that." However, we are all rivals. If we just played competitively against each other, I think everyone would like it as well.
Last week, league executives announced that they have been emphasizing to players the value of raising the standard of the All-Star Game. Both of them have been heated topics for years, as has the slam dunk competition, which took a major knock last season when Mac McClung delivered a performance to remember.