The NBA announced today that it is making some big changes to the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The biggest announcement is that for the first time in All-Star game history, the game will no longer be an East vs. West competition. The news was first reported by Bleacher Report on Tuesday afternoon.

Per NBA.com, instead of the teams being composed solely of Eastern conference players facing off against Western Conference players, teams will now be comprised of players from either conference chosen by a team captain. The two team captains will be the player from each conference who received the most fan votes.

The players will be chosen “draft-style, and the players each captain will be choosing from will consist of the total pool of players voted in as starters and reserves. The method of voting has not changed: 10 starters, two guards and three frontcourt players per conference, will be chosen by the standard combination of fans – 50 percent of the vote – current players – 25 percent – and basketball media – the final 25 percent. NBA head coaches will also still vote on the reserves, with each voting for two guards, three frontcourt players, and an additional two players at any position in their respective conferences. Specific details about the actual draft process will be revealed at a later date.

Another change is that the teams will now be playing for charity. Each team will select a Los Angeles-based charity or national organization where donations will be used to support local efforts.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters and captains on Thursday, Jan. 18, followed by the reserves on Tuesday, Jan. 23.  NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will commence on Monday, Dec. 25, before the five Christmas Day games.

The NBA has also confirmed that there will be no change in determining the head coaches for the 2018 All-Star Game. The head coaches whose teams hold the best record in their respective conferences two weeks before the All-Star Game will earn the honor of coaching, and per the usual rules, the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr and the Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens are ineligible for the honor because they coached in the 2017 All-Star Game. Each coach will lead the the team that includes the captain from their respective conference.

This is a pretty exciting development after Adam Silver previously expressed a desire to “reset” the All-Star Game earlier this year. This new format certainly serves to do just that.

This new format is also a positive step in hopefully maintaining the competitiveness between the two teams. With the mass exodus of All-Stars from the East to the West this past offseason, this draft-style format can definitely serve to help level the playing field a bit. It’s also a fun way to see Eastern and Western conference players play together who might otherwise never play together on the same team. All in all, the 2018 All-Star Game should hopefully be a breath of fresh air and a fun affair for players and fans alike.

About The Author

Darrin Burrell is a life-long fan of the NBA. He has a been a fan of the Washington Bullets/Wizards his whole life, he grew up playing basketball, and considers himself a true student of all aspects of the game. Darrin currently resides in the Washington, DC area.

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