NBA All-Star Game does away with conferences

Stephen Currie

Stephen Currie

The West has beaten the East five of the last six times, and six of the last eight.

On Tuesday, the National Basketball Association announced a major change to the All-Star Game, which will now have its rosters determined through a draft from a pool of players voted as All-Star starters and reserves.

Players and league officials have been eager to inject new interest in the often defense-absent game, and they chose to act after another tiresome affair last February in New Orleans.

"I'm thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us", said NBPA President Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets. "We're looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in LA".

LeBron James will likely have his pick of teammates for the NBA All-Star Game in February under sweeping changes to the game announced Tuesday. The 10 starters - two guards and three frontcourt players per conference - will still be chosen by fan vote (50 percent), current players (25 percent) and media vote (25 percent).

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In another new move, the two All-Star teams will play for charity, raising money for either a Los Angeles-based non-profit or a national organisation. It may have also been a reaction to the fact that former East All-Stars like Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George now play for Western Conference teams. Each team will select a Los Angeles-area charity for which to compete and raise funds.

Specific details about the All-Star player draft will be determined later.

Now while the actual game format will be different, the voting process will remain unchanged. Fans can begin voting for All-Stars on Christmas Day.

The ten starters of the game as voted upon by fans and players will be picked first. The respective player's conference will not matter in their selection.

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