The NBA All-Star Game will take place on February 19. And no one will know the All-Star rosters until that night. Not even the players themselves.
Team captains – probably LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers or Milwaukee Giannis Antikonmo or brooklyn Kevin Durant – They will make their selections in a live, televised pre-game clip shortly before the game kicks off in Salt Lake City.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced the format change Tuesday night.
This will be the sixth time the league has used the format in which the captains select their teams, but in each of the first five cases, the rosters were chosen several days before the game.
The captain and starters will be announced on Thursday.
James has been captain in each of the first five years, and based on the voting results released by the league late last week, it’s almost certain he’ll be back again this year. The outstanding vote-getter from both the Eastern and Western Conferences earns the right to be captain.
Durant was the number one leader among East players, then trailed Antetokounmpo on the last ballot. He is still expected to be named a starter, and it won’t be known until Thursday if he has regained the lead in the Eastern vote in recent days.
Ballot papers to determine the start date are on Saturday.
“I want to play,” Durant told reporters in New York on Tuesday. “I want to be a part of all of these events.”
James teams are 5-0 in All-Star Games when he’s captain.
Durant has been captain as the voting leader in the East in each of the past two games. Antetokounmpo was in the previous two matches, 2019 and 2020.
The three best frontcourt players and two best guards in each conference will be selected as starters, with the two overall vote-getters from each conference serving as captains and selecting their teams.
Fan votes account for 50% of rookie ballots, media ballots account for 25%, and votes handed in by NBA players account for the other 25%.
The reserves — selected by the NBA’s coaches, and seven players from each conference — will be revealed on February 2.