The NBA is returning to its classic format for the All-Star Game. After making a few tweaks to the game over the last few years, the league will go back to having its midseason showcase pit the best players in the Eastern Conference against the best players in the Western Conference.
The news was announced on Wednesday during an event in Indianapolis, the city where the game will take place next year. There was also a press release put out by the league, which confirmed that the All-Star Draft is gone, as is the target score at the end of the fourth quarter. However, the team that wins each quarter will still earn money for charity.
As the league celebrates basketball’s deep roots in the state of Indiana, the 73rd NBA All-Star Game will feature the return of both the classic matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference and the traditional scoring system with four 12-minute quarters. The voting process to determine the NBA All-Stars will remain the same, with 12 players selected from each conference.
While the NBA All-Star Game will no longer have an untimed fourth quarter or conclude when one team reaches or surpasses the Final Target Score, the teams will continue to compete to win each quarter for a charitable organization of their choosing.
The NBA decided to shake up its All-Star format back in 2018, when the top vote getter from each conference was named captain. The two would draft their teams — first on TNT with the Inside the NBA crew before doing it live before the game last year. Additionally, in 2020, the NBA decided to adopt a version of the Elam Ending to determine a winner, as a target score was set entering the fourth quarter by taking the score of the leading team and adding 24 in honor of the late Kobe Bryant.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the league was placing a priority on increasing the competitiveness of the game.