2024 NBA All-Star Game Returning To Classic East Vs. West Format
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA All-Star Game to be played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana is featuring two changes that will revert the game back to its original format, the league announced this week. The teams will no longer be decided by team captains, but instead return to the East vs. West format. And the fourth quarter will no longer be untimed with a target score, with the game instead being a traditional four 12-minute quarters.

“As the league celebrates basketball’s deep roots in the state of Indiana, the 73rd NBA All-Star Game will feature the return of both the classic matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference and the traditional scoring system with four 12-minute quarters. The voting process to determine the NBA All-Stars will remain the same, with 12 players selected from each conference,” the league said in a statement.

The NBA did the East vs. West format from the very first edition of the All-Star Game in 1951 all the way to 2017, when a 192-182 final score prompted the league to alter the game in order to increase the competitiveness of what many fans felt had become a boring event.

In 2018, the league implemented a playground style draft to determine the teams, with 12 All Stars being selected from each conference and the top vote-getter in each conference becoming a team captain. The first All-Star Draft featured Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James — then on the Cleveland Cavaliers — and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.

James was a captain in all six years of the All-Star Draft’s history, going 5-1 as a captain with his lone loss coming in 2023, the final year of the draft format. He was a captain against Curry once, Kevin Durant twice and Giannis Antetokounmpo three times.

Commissioner Adam Silver clearly believes that the new format was not doing anything to drum up additional interest, opting to instead return to the original format and find a different avenue to make the game more competitive. The only remaining feature of the new All-Star format is that each of the four quarters will be played on behalf of a charity.

The All-Star Game will take place in Indianapolis on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024.

Antetokounmpo believes James is greatest player ever

Antetokounmpo and James, the two most frequent All-Star captains, have never been shy about their praise for one another. Especially Antetokounmpo, who routinely calls James the greatest player to ever play the game. He recently reiterated the statement, saying that James’ longevity is what makes him the greatest of all time.

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