When the 2018 NBA All-Star Game tips off in Los Angeles in 2018, it will have a completely different look from the past. The NBA has decided to get rid of the old school East vs West format for a new playground style team up.
Starting with the February 2018 game, the teams will now be determined by the team captains. So instead of going East vs West, it may be something like Team LeBron vs Team Steph.
The voting will work similar to the past games. Each conference will still get 12 participants. Five players from each conference will be selected as starters, with the fan vote being worth 50 percent, player vote worth 25 percent and media vote worth 25 percent. Seven reserves for each team will be picked by each conference's head coaches.
The players who win the fan vote from each conference will be the captains.
The new system will allow for match-ups that we would only see if teammates or rivals moved to a different conference. For example, if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were to be picked for opposite teams, we would get a playground style showdown between the former teammates, now rivals.
It also means players from the same team can face off against each other. Instead of just another game with your teammates, we can see Steph Curry and Klay Thompson shoot it out or maybe new Celtics Kyrie Irving and Gordon Haywood go one-on-one. The possibilities hopefully will bring new life into a sometimes stale All-Star experience.
Starters will be picked first, so the 10 players voted would still start, but team they start for will be determined by where the captains pick them.
The timing and details of the All-Star draft have not yet been determined, but it will be before All-Star Weekend. The starters will be announced Jan. 18, the reserves Jan. 23.