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East vs. West Format Makes Return to NBA All-Star Game

Ollie Velez

The 2024 NBA All-Star weekend logo.

On October 25th, 2023, the NBA announced that the 2024 NBA All-Star game would return to its original format of an Eastern Conference team versus a Western Conference team. This format consists of 12 players from the NBA Eastern Conference competing against 12 players from the NBA Western Conference. 

Many believed the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City was uneventful and the players were not playing hard enough. In recent years, players have started viewing it as just a game for fun rather than a competitive one, and they have become more cautious of getting injured. Seeing the reactions of the fans due to the uncompetitive nature that the All-Star Game shifted towards, the NBA decided to revert to the old format for 2024. 

Since 2018, the All-Star teams have been selected in a televised draft. Two team captains were selected based on votes, and they would each select a team consisting of eleven other players. This year, the NBA has decided to move away from the All-Star draft. Additionally, in 2020, the NBA introduced an Elam-ending game with an untimed fourth quarter and a target score. However, that is getting removed along with the draft as the league decided to return to the typical 12-minute, four-quarter game. Many are interested in seeing how removing the Elam ending will affect the game's competitiveness and how the East and West will match up against one another. 

The decision to return to the old format was met with a mix of reactions. Some fans were excited about the decision and felt that it was a good call. Former Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor shared his thoughts on Twitter: “NBA returning to a traditional format for All-Star is cool. I’d like to see them switch it up every few years.” O’Connor, along with many others, appreciates the decision, and he believes making changes like this every few years is beneficial. On the other hand, some people did not agree with the decision. Although some people thought the recent All-Star Game was boring, many believed the Elam-ending provided an exciting ending; with that gone, many question how that will affect the game's competitive nature. 

This year’s East vs. West All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, February 18th, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Many people believe the West has an advantage with its team consisting of Lebron James, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and more. The East can not be counted out, though, as stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, and Tyrese Haliburton headline their team.


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