The NBA revamps its All-Star game format

2018 NBA All-Star Game

Earlier today (October 3rd), the NBA announced that it is revamping the game format for the 2018 All-Star Game, which is taking place in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center on February 18th. 

The NBA is going with the “playground model” 

For the first time ever, the NBA All-Star Game will not feature the traditional game format of the Eastern Conference versus the Western Conference.  Instead, the NBA has decided to go with the "playground model," where the captains, who are the top vote getter in each conference, pick the players from the All-Star Draft Pool for each team without any regard to a players' conference affiliation. 

The system of how all-stars are chosen isn’t changing

Despite this change, the way players are chosen as all-stars remains the same.

There will be a total of 12 players on each team.  Using a combination of fan vote, media vote, and coach vote, the top ten (five from each conference) vote getters will be starters while the coaches will select 14 reserves (seven on each team). 

Proceeds from the game will be donated to charity  

There is also a charity component to game. Each team will select a Los Angeles-based charity or national organization to support with donations from the game. 


The change in format should add some much needed excitement to the All-Star Game. The talent-filled game has been somewhat of a let down over the years with players not taking it too serious especially on the defensive side of things. With the potential of regular season teammates playing against each other or captains picking their friends, things could get quite interesting

In addition, the timing of the change is perfect. The NBA offseason was a busy one with all types of trades and free agent signings. Superstars like Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony were traded to different teams and ended up in the already powerful Western Conference, making it even more loaded.  If the NBA were to keep its traditional format, it's almost guaranteed that there would be a blowout with the Eastern Conference getting the short end of the stick.