2024 NBA All-Star Game format explained

Feb 18, 2023; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Domantas Sabonis (left) and Anthony Edwards during NBA All-Star Game practice at Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2023; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Domantas Sabonis (left) and Anthony Edwards during NBA All-Star Game practice at Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2024 All-Star Game will take place on February 18 in Indianapolis—for more information on the schedule and how to watch, click here—and feature some significant changes.

First of all, the game will move away from the draft format used in recent years and return to the classic version of East vs. West, which was last used in 2017. There will still be team captains—the starters in each conference with the most votes—but their position is more of a formality now.

Secondly, the game will consist of four 12-minute quarters, instead of having three regular quarters and an untamed final one to reach the game’s target score. Each quarter, teams compete to win cash prizes for charities of their choosing, a concept that was first introduced in 2020.

Format changes throughout the history of the NBA All-Star Game

The very first NBA All-Star Game took place at Boston Garden in March 1951 in an attempt to raise the league’s visibility by giving people a chance to watch all the stars competing with each other.

For the first 24 All-Star games, a group of writers and broadcasters had the privilege of selecting the starting five and three bench players for each team. Coaches picked the rest of the rosters. Fans first got a chance to cast votes in the 1974-75 season. Replacing the media members, they picked the five starters for each conference while the coaches selected the bench players.

From then on out, the voting process became completely fan-centered until the league changed the voting process in 2017. Now, fan votes count 50 percent and the other half is split between active players and media members. In 2013, the NBA also introduced the format of voting for two backcourt and three frontcourt players as there were fewer traditional centers.

The biggest change to the All-Star Game format came in 2018 when the league decided to have team captains and a draft to decide teams. In the last six years, LeBron James has dominated the voting, being elected a team captain every year. Giannis Antetokounmpo received the honor three times, Kevin Durant twice, and Stephen Curry once.

Overall, the format received mixed reviews with many fans calling for a return to the traditional game.

The All-Star Game needs fixing

The 2023 All-Star Game attracted 4.6 million viewers, which marks the lowest number in recent memory. Just 20 years ago, in 2003, 10.8 million people watched the game, and in 1993 it was still 22.91 million.

In recent years, fans have criticized a lack of competition in the game. No one plays defense anymore, and few players look like they are actually trying hard. Some might be worried about injuries, others might just not care.

Whatever the reasons, fans are not as interested as they once were. Maybe a return to the traditional format and some good old rivalry between the conferences can help fix some of these issues.

Which Kings players could we see at the All-Star Game?

The answer to this question is pretty simple. Barring some huge surprises, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are the two Kings who have solid cases to make the All-Star Game. Both were selected last year, Sabonis as a reserve and Fox as an injury replacement.

Fox should certainly be more than just a second thought in the All-Star conversation but the West has many of the top guards in the league. Between Stephen Curry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luka Doncic, Anthony Edwards, Jamal Murray, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and De’Aaron Fox someone who deserves a spot will have to miss out.

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