Basketball

No more East v West for NBA All-Star game

The NBA and its Players Association have announced a new format for next year's NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles that will abandon the traditional Eastern Conference versus Western Conference match-up.

Under the new format, two captains will pick the teams from a pool of 24 players voted in by fans (50 per cent of vote), media (25 per cent) and fellow players (25 per cent).

The captains will be the top vote-getters from each conference as chosen by the three groups.

"I'm thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us," National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets said.

"We're looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in LA"

The voting process and process to pick the head coaches will remain unchanged.

Additionally, each team will select a Los Angeles-based or national charity to raise donations for.

"We're excited about the new All-Star format and appreciate the players' willingness to try something new," said Byron Spruell, the NBA's president of league operations.

The All-Star Game, which has been branded a meaningless exhibition in recent years, will take place next year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb 18. The All-Star Game starters and captains will be announced on Jan 18.

- REUTERS

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