The NBA is truly embracing the pick-up game for the All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City.
For the first time ever, players voted into the NBA All-Stars next month won't know which team they will be playing for until game day.
The NBA announced the format change on Wednesday, as the 2023 NBA All-Star Draft will be taking place live right before the actual game on February 20.
The captains, who lead the All-Star voting, have been choosing their teammates from the result of the polls for the past five editions of the event. This will be the first time that they would have to do it right before the All-Star Game.
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James continues to lead the Western Conference with 6.5 million votes, based on the third fan returns. He has been a captain for the past five years and has proven his drafting skills with a 5-0 record.
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the East with 5.9 million votes, with Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant at a close second with 5.8 million. Both players have led the East at least twice in this format.
The top three front court players and top two guards will be chosen as starters. Fan voting counts for 50%, media ballots will comprise 25%, while NBA players' choices will account for 25%.
Starters will be announced this Friday, January 27. The reserves, which will be selected by the coaches, will be revealed next week.
And if the Elam Ending — implemented in 2020 — is any indication, any non-formal change will always prove to be interesting.