The NBA All-Star team selection process is undergoing some changes this year, as announced by a league spokesman to ESPN.
Unlike previous years where team captains drafted their rosters on a televised simulcast from their cities weeks before the All-Star Game, this year’s draft will take place live on stage at Vivint Arena half an hour to 90 minutes before tipoff on Sunday.
Not only is the location and timing of the draft changing, but so is the order. According to Turner Sports host Ernie Johnson on “Inside the NBA,” team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will first select reserves for their bench before dividing up the remaining eight starters.
This new format ensures that the last player selected will still start in the game, avoiding the stigma of being picked last like in a schoolyard game.
All players present in Salt Lake City for the game will participate in the live draft, according to a league spokesman.
Since 2018, the league has moved away from the traditional Eastern Conference versus Western Conference format for the All-Star Game, introducing team captains who are the most voted in each conference.
LeBron James has been named a captain all six years since the draft was introduced, with his teams going 5-0 so far. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been a captain three times, while Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry have been captains twice and once respectively.