The NBA announced a new format for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game designed to increase the level of competition throughout the game, make the outcome of every quarter count for charity and honor Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
In the 69th NBA All-Star Game which takes place in Chicago, the teams will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with a score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a final target score will be set.
The final target score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points — the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career. The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the final target score will win the All-Star Game.
The league used the following example in its press release to demonstrate how the final quarter will work.
“If the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 100-95, the final target score would be set at 124 points. To win the game, the team with 100 points would need to score 24 points in the fourth quarter before the team with 95 points scores 29 points, and vice versa. With no minimum or maximum time on the clock in the fourth quarter, the NBA All-Star Game will end with a made basket or a made free throw.”
More than $1 million will be contributed to Chicago community non-profit organizations through NBA Cares outreach efforts. These efforts will culminate during the All-Star Game when each team will play for a Chicago-based charity beneficiary, as selected by team captains Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lakers forward LeBron James.
The community organization selected by the winner of each of the first three quarters will receive $100,000 — a total of $300,000 donated to charity for those three quarters. The winner of each of the first three quarters will be the team with the higher score at the end of the 12-minute quarter. The winning team of the full game will earn $200,000 for its community organization.
If the first or second quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 charity award for that quarter will be added to the next quarter’s award. If the third quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 charity award for that quarter will be added to the award of the team that wins the NBA All-Star Game. If one team wins each of the first three quarters and reaches the final target score first, $500,000 will be donated to the winning team’s charity and $100,000 will be donated to the losing team’s charity.
James and Anthony Davis will be representing the Lakers as they were both selected as starters in the Western Conference — with James being the captain. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will also be coaching Team LeBron.
Bryant was named an All-Star 18 times in his 20-year career with the Lakers, being named MVP of the game four times.
The game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago, airing live at 5 p.m. PT on TNT. With so many of the league’s top players having close relationships with Bryant, it should be an emotional weekend. Additional plans to honor him will also be announced at a later date.