It looks like the NBA all-star game could soon return to its roots after a failed experiment drew criticism. According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver himself, the league is considering reverting back to the game’s original format.
In 2018, the league went away from the traditional East vs. West format after 66 years in favor of having the leading vote-getters in each conference choose their teams. That has resulted in LeBron James being a team captain for six straight seasons. The goal of that change was to increase the competitiveness of the all-star game, which had become a glorified layup line or shootaround.
That, and changing the scoring system from total points to the Elam scoring format, was done in hopes of making the game more fun to watch. Initially, it did, but by last year’s all-star game, the same issues started to resurface. Players simply weren’t playing hard, and it was making a game with the NBA’s 24 best stars a chore to watch.
NBA Rumors: The NBA may ditch the All-Star game rule.
While it isn’t yet a done deal, returning to the traditional format is probably best for the All-Star game. Even then, seeing players that might otherwise not play together, such as LeBron James and Jayson Tatum or Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, was worth the format change. But reverting back to the original East vs. West model is the safer choice and something that the league could seek to tweak in other ways.
One option, albeit a potentially controversial one, would be to borrow Major League Baseball’s rule of having the All-Star Game determine home-field advantage in the World Series. Doing the same with the NBA’s all-star game and having it determine home-court in the NBA Finals would certainly make the game more interesting.
After all, many of the game’s top players play for contending teams, and they would have a stake in the outcome of the All-Star Game, were the rules would be changed to mirror Major League Baseball’s.
The NBA has no shortage of superstars and there are five players that no true basketball fan can afford to miss out on in 2023–24.
Whether Silver follows through with the rule change to the all-star game or not, it’s clear that the it needs changes, and at least he appears to be considering different options.