SALT LAKE CITY – More changes are coming to the NBA All-Star team selection process.
Unlike previous years, when All-Star team captains drafted their rosters weeks before the All-Star Game via televised simulation from their respective cities, this year’s draft will be performed live on stage at the Vivint approximately 90 minutes to a half hour beforehand Arena performed tipoff on Sunday, a league spokesman told ESPN.
Draft location and timing aren’t the only things changing, however. The order is too.
Turner Sports host Ernie Johnson revealed Thursday on Inside the NBA that team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will first select reserves for their bench before splitting up the eight remaining starters afterward. In this format, the last player selected would still start the game, avoiding the schoolyard stigma associated with last player selection.
Any player present for the game in Salt Lake City will be drafted live, a league spokesman told ESPN.
In 2018, the league said goodbye to its traditional Eastern Conference versus Western Conference format for the February celebrations and introduced team captains—the most voted in each conference—that players in their respective rosters can choose.
James has been captained every six years since the draft was introduced, with his teams going 5-0 to date. This is the third time Antetokounmpo has been named captain. Kevin Durant captained twice and Stephen Curry captained once in 2018.