All-Star Game 101
By Rebecca Rodriguez - July 12, 2022

The finest NBA players from that season compete in an exhibition game called the NBA All-Star Game, which is played once a year. Every year, the game is played around midway through the season. Up to 2018, the players’ teams were determined by their conferences. The top athletes from each conference were paired up for an East versus. West contest. However, the NBA underwent a significant overhaul in 2018. The top vote-getter from each conference was chosen as a captain for the 2018 NBA All-Star game. The leaders of the teams then decide on their respective group members.

Recent years have seen a significant change in voting as well. Before 2017, only fan votes were used to choose who would start each game. Starters are now chosen based on a 50/50 split of fan votes, current players’ votes, media votes, and media votes rather than being entirely selected by fan votes. Reserves are picked much more simply. Each NBA head coach is given a ballot, from which they must choose two guards for the backcourt and three forwards for the frontcourt (forwards or centers).

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The team leaders alternately choose their teams. The captain that receives the most votes is selected first overall. They choose first from the remaining eight starters. Each player must have two backcourt players and three frontcourt players on the squad in addition to themself. They shift to the reserves once all of the starters have been selected. In the reserves round, the starter who was selected second gets the first pick. Up to 2020, the All-Star game has stayed constant. The game was played in four quarters of 12 minutes each, as is customary for NBA games. The team with the most points at the end won the game.

A style never previously seen in the NBA was present in the new game structure. The teams play to a chosen score limit instead of a timed quarter. The team with the most points at the end of the opening 12 minutes receives $100,000 to give to their preferred charity. The score is reset right before the second quarter to 0-0. The first quarter’s rules also apply to the second and third quarters. The sum of the three previous quarters’ points is used. The fourth quarter of the game is when things start to heat up.