Since 2018, the NBA All-Star Game has featured a draft, with a pair of team captains building the rosters weeks before the game on TNT. Though the change has been quite popular since its inception, many have wondered if one particular curveball could make things even more interesting, and the NBA seemingly heard the whispers.
The league announced on Tuesday that the 2023 edition will feature a draft that takes place just moments before the game itself during what is described as a “new, live pregame segment” from Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
The @NBA and @TheNBPA announced today that TNT will air the 2023 NBA All-Star Draft as a new, live pregame segment at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET from Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. pic.twitter.com/heWwh4k8MR
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 25, 2023
The captains, as usual, will be the top vote-getters in both conferences, but the chaos will emerge from there. There are logistical questions, including a harmless one like whether the players will have both jerseys made before the game. The betting market also won’t love this particular change, as it makes it essentially impossible to handicap.
Still, this is an idea that is fantastic in theory, and the draft becomes even more “must-see TV” given the live nature and immediate ramifications. The All-Star Game is often associated with the feel of a pick-up game, and this will add to that. It remains to be seen as to whether this will be a permanent change, but the internet will celebrate and we’ll see how this goes.