The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is going to have a different look this season.
When the best basketball players in the league hit the Staples Center court in Los Angeles in February, the teams they play on will not be separated by the Eastern and Western conferences. Instead, according to a statement released by the NBA today, two captains — the players from each conference who receive the most fan votes — will draft the teams from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves.
According to the league, this is the first time the NBA All-Star Game will not be an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference matchup.
“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,” Chris Paul, guard for the Houston Rockets and NBPA president, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A.”
The NBA also announced that the 2018 All-Star teams will play for either a Los Angeles-area charity or a national organization where the donations will support local efforts.
“We’re excited about the new All-Star format and appreciate the players’ willingness to try something new,” NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said in a statement.
The NBA All-Star Game will air live on TNT on Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET.
When the players hit the court, they’ll be wearing Nike’s new tech-infused uniforms boasting the brand’s real-time interactive NikeConnect digital platform, which gives fans a personalized experience activated through a jock tag on the jersey (as well as a smartphone, and the NikeConnect and Nike+ mobile apps).
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