The NBA continues to keep things fresh on its All Star Weekend with the latest change being that the two team captains for the NBA All Star Game will now select their rosters live before the game tips off, according to the NBA and National Basketball Players Association.
Since 2018, the highest All Star vote-getters in both the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively, select from a pool of All Stars who were chosen by the fans. This is usually done well in advance, though, with last year’s draft taking place more than a week before the game. Now, the event has essentially evolved into a full schoolyard pick’em.
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, ever the oracle, first mentioned the idea in a past appearance on the Boardroom podcast. Durant, who is second behind Giannis Antetokounmpo for most All Star votes in the East, was quick to take credit on Twitter following the league’s creative decision. It is quite possible the players have been cooking up this idea for years.
The tweak to the selection process will be interesting to see unfold, as any tension or bitterness stemming from draft placement could immediately spill into the All Star Game itself. The NBA is often credited with how they have been able to evolve, and their All Star Weekend festivities are no different.
LeBron James has been a captain for the entirety of this format’s existence and will again be one of the pioneers of this latest NBA innovation as he has a commanding vote-lead in the West (overall leader as well). Antetokounmpo will likely join him for what could end up being a fun, lighthearted tradition.
The NBA All Star Game will follow this highly-anticipated draft on Feb. 19.