All-Star game to undergo major transformation in Los Angeles next year

NEW ORLEANS LA- FEBRUARY 18 Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts with James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets during practice for the 2017 NBA All Star Game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome

Imagine it: Western Conference captain Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Eastern Conference counterpart LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers standing at midcourt choosing sides before the NBA All-Star Game on February 18 at Staples Center.

Five from each conference will be selected as starters, with the votes split between the fans (50 percent), players (25 percent) and media (25 percent).

The leading vote-getters will be the team captains and they'll pick from a pool of players.

Houston Rockets star Chris Paul, who serves as the president of the NBA Players' Association, was instrumental in the changes to the format.

Last season, LeBron James led the fan voting in the east and Steph Curry in the west and there is a huge chance that they will do so again and become the team captains. Traditionally the game is between the best players from the Western Conference and Eastern Conference as voted by fans, players, coaches and the media. So I think for the league office, Adam Silver, Michael Levine, and all those guys to take a look at that and say it's something else we need to do to bring some excitement to it, I think that's great. Not that the All-Star Game "needs to be played with the same intensity as a Game 7, but both players and the league recognized changed was necessary". Coaches will select the reserves - two guards, three front-court players and two players from any position. A blind draw would be much more interesting.

The second change, and arguably the most-notable, is the inclusion of a national or Los Angeles-based charity where each team can direct donations from the game.

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"It's the playground type dynamics when you used to pick your teams growing up and used to play with open gym", Curry said. Maybe this is the "precursor to abolishing the conference system, both at the All-Star Game and for the league at large" (THERINGER.com, 10/3).

In another new feature, the 2018 All-Star teams will play for charity.

Here's the problem. After a wild offseason full of player movement, the West added four All-Star (George, Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler and Paul Millsap) while the East acquired just one (Gordon Hayward).

The NBA announced that format of East mix-West mix competition in ALL-Star organization has changed.

For example, Damian Lillard - who received 340,593 votes - could've been selected over Kemba Walker (170,299) last season.

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