The NBA All-Star Game is February 19th. No one will know the All-Star roster until that evening. Not even the players themselves.
Team captains, presumably Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, and either Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant made their choices during a live pre-game segment just before the game began in Salt Lake City. I do.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced the format change Tuesday night.
This is the sixth time the league has used a captain-selected team format, but in each of the first five instances the roster was selected several days before the game.
Captains and starters will be announced on Thursday.
James has been captain for the first five years and is all but certain to be captain again this year, according to the league’s ballot released last weekend. Players with the highest percentage of votes in both the Eastern and Western Conferences are eligible to become captains.
Durant was the early leader of the East Players, but was just behind Antetokounmpo in recent polls. He’s still expected to be selected as a starter, and it won’t be known until Thursday whether he’ll retake the East voting lead on final day.
Voting to determine the starters closed on Saturday.
“I want to play,” Durant told reporters in New York on Tuesday. “I want to be part of all these events.”
The team captained by James is 5-0 in the All-Star Game.
Durant has captained the East as the voting leader in each of its last two games.
The top three frontcourt players and top two guards in each conference are selected as starters, and the top overall vote-getter in each conference selects the team as captain.
50% of starter votes are fan votes, 25% are media votes and the remaining 25% are votes by NBA players.
The NBA coaches and reserves selected by seven players from each conference will be announced on February 2.