East vs. West may be reinstated if the NBA decides to change the format of the All-Star Game.
It appears that an East vs. West matchup for the NBA All-Star Game will soon take place. Commissioner Adam Silver declared during a Tuesday televised interview on ESPN that the All-Star Game will be altered.
He hinted that the existing system, in which the top vote-getters captain their own teams and select their starting lineups, would be dropped, even though he did not say that a decision has been taken.
In the conversation with ESPN's "First Take," Silver hinted that the teams might be shown in a way that is more traditional. "We sort of went to this captain-draft idea, but we are looking at it because historically, it was clearly East vs. West."
Indianapolis will host the 2019 All-Star Game on February 18. The league has not yet announced any format changes. The first 66 All-Star Games were played in an East vs. West basis.
The top vote-getters from each conference have been selected captains for the last six seasons, and they get to select their own squads. Giannis Antetokounmpo has captained the team three times, Kevin Durant twice, Stephen Curry once, and LeBron James six times.
The last four All-Star Games have used a target score at the end of each game to ensure that the competition ends with a made shot. The victor is the first team to score 24 points, a reference to Kobe Bryant's final jersey number, plus whatever the winning side has after three quarters. The fourth quarter is not timed.
During the first year of the target scoring scheme, there was a very dramatic fourth quarter. However, the previous season's All-Star Game was a broadcast ratings disaster and almost completely uncompetitive, partly because some of the biggest names, like James, Durant, Curry, Antetokounmpo, and Durant, were out injured for the majority of the game.
After the previous season's All-Star Game, Utah's Lauri Markkanen remarked, "I mean, it's fun to kind of get out there and do some dunks and stuff like that." But we are all competitors. I believe everyone would enjoy it if we just played against each other in a competitive manner.
League management said last week that they had been stressing to players the need of improving the All-Star Game. Both of them have been contentious issues for many years, as has the slam dunk competition, which suffered greatly after Mac McClung's memorable performance in the previous season.
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