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NBA changes format of All-Star Game to player draft

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) boxes out Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on June 4, 2017. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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By Chris Vivlamore | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Are you ready for an NBA All-Star Game draft?

It’s happening.

The NBA announced a drastic new format to the All-Star Game on Tuesday that eliminates the Eastern versus Western Conferences matchup. The game, to be played in Los Angeles this season, will feature two captains who will draft teams from a pool of players voted as starters and reserves without regard for conference affiliation. The captains will be the starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes.

“I’m thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us,” said NBPA President Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets in a statement. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A.”

The process for selecting the 24 All-Stars remains the same, with 12 players from each conference earning spots. The 10 starters — two guards and three frontcourt players per conference — will continue to be chosen by a combination of fans (50 percent of the vote), current players (25 percent) and basketball media (25 percent). The head coaches will still select the 14 reserves, voting for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players at any position in their respective conferences.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters and captains on Jan. 18 and the reserves on Jan. 23. Voting begins on Dec. 25.

The selection of All-Star Game head coaches is unchanged. The coaches whose teams clinch the best record in their respective conferences two weeks before the game will be named and lead the conference that includes their captain. The Warriors’ Steve Kerr and the Celtics’ Brad Stevens are ineligible since they coached last season.

Each team will select a Los Angeles-area charity or national organization where donations will be used to support local efforts.

The game will be played on Feb. 18 at the Staples Center.

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