The NBA has announced a big change being made to the NBA All-Star game. Instead of the game being strictly Western vs Eastern Conference, the format has now changed so that two captains will select their teams. When I first heard the news, I thought the team captains would be able to choose whoever they wanted throughout the league, but that is not the case.
Fan voting will still be a factor in who plays in the All-Star game. Fan votes will be worth 50%, while both player and media votes are worth 25% each. 12 players from each conference will still be selected, but now they can play for either team.
The two captains will be able to select whoever they please, regardless of what conference a player plays in. So who gets to be the captains? The captains will be selected by fan vote. One player from each conference will select their team. Team captains can only choose from the players selected to be a part of the All-Star game.
Good or Bad Move?
In my personal opinion, this tweak to the All-Star game will be a good one. Instead of seeing the same players on the same teams, this will give us something we haven’t seen before. We could get to see LeBron James play on the same team with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, or James Harden. We could see Steph Curry on the same team with Kyrie Irving, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or John Wall.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had thoughts about what it would be like if one star paired up with another. We’ve all built super teams on NBA 2K with ridiculously unrealistic line ups. This could give us at least a small sample size of what that would be like in real life.
While that is one positive to this change, here’s the main reason why I think the NBA made this move. During the offseason, several stars from the Eastern Conference went to the Western Conference. Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Millsap, Jimmy Butler, and more went to the Western Conference. Who did the Eastern Conference get? They didn’t get much more than Gordon Hayward. Lucky for them, they at least retained Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade.
If the All-Star game stayed the same, the Western Conference would have been absolutely loaded. The Eastern Conference would have been heavily disadvantaged. This probably would have resulted in less viewership, leading to less money. It just wouldn’t be as interesting if you already know who’s going to win.
By making this change in the All-Star game, the NBA is keeping the interest of the fans. Instead of having a loaded Western Conference team, both teams will have equal opportunity to be loaded with stars. It will be exciting to see who the team captains are, who they pick to be on their teams, and how well they play together. If LeBron is team captain, does he pick Kyrie Irving? If Russell Westbrook is team captain, does he pick Kevin Durant?
The All-Star game was in trouble until this move happened. It still would have been fun to watch, but it wouldn’t have been what we’re used to seeing. This change won’t be what we’re used to seeing either, but it’s a change that will get us excited! You have to give props to the NBA for recognizing this.
The NBA All-Star game is still far away, but the thought of potentially seeing LeBron and Durant on the same team has me ready to fast forward to that point in the season already. There are many possibilities for who gets voted as team captains, but if I had to guess right now, I’d say it’s LeBron in the Eastern Conference and Curry in the Western Conference. Who would you vote as team captains?