Adam Silver has proven to be an innovate NBA Commissioner and Tuesday saw one of his most progressive ideas become official.
The NBA's All-Star Game will have a revamped format beginning 2018 in Los Angeles, doing away with the traditional East vs. West matchup and instead going with a system where team captains will pick their teams regardless of conference.
The game will also be played for charity with each team representing an organization.
The NFL's Pro Bowl has used teams that didn't stick to conferences in recent years with former players like Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin picking their teams. Some would call it 'playground style,' The NBA's format will instead have current stars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry doing the honors.
So what does it all mean for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game?
The captains could make things very interesting
The captains for both teams will be the players who received the most fan votes in each conference.
With all the craziness that went down this past offseason, the fans could use their power to create some intrigue. If LeBron is a captain, will he pick Kyrie Irving after all that went down in Cleveland?
If Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant are captains in the West, will they pick each other? Will Westbrook overlook all of the Warriors' All-Stars on principle?
Surely, fans and media will read into the picks that are made. If a guy is the captain and doesn't pick his own teammate, questions will be asked and rumors may start. Whomever LeBron picks, if he's captain, will start speculation about his free agent future. If he takes John Wall and Bradley Beal, #LeBron2DC will be trending on Twitter before you know it.
The NBA already has a lot of off-the-court drama that makes it the best soap opera in sports. This format will only add to those storylines.
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The format shouldn't change much for the Wizards
The selection process for All-Stars will stay the same, so there is no need to wonder if this will help or hurt guys like Wall and Beal. All-Star starters will still be chosen with a combination of fan voting (50 percent) plus input from current players (25 percent) and the media (25 percent). Head coaches will then select the 14 reserves.
There will still be 12 players from each conference earning spots and that is a good thing for Wall and Beal. The Western Conference is stacked heavily with superstars, especially at the guard position. The fact stars like Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler went west this offseason still helps Beal's chances of making his first All-Star selection.
Will fans be more interested?
Every league in pro sports has trouble getting people interested in their showcase games. The Pro Bowl is often panned and gets bad ratings compared to actual NFL games, but its not alone. The NBA All-Star Game doesn't do the ratings it used to, either. Interestingly enough, the ratings for the 2017 All-Star Game were their highest since 2013. Still, the 7.75 million people who watched were about half of the audience the NBA's All-Star Game regular received in the 1990s.
Silver wanted to make a change and this is what the league came up with. Depending on the teams, it could make things more interesting. Aside from the Olympics, there are a lot of superstar pairings fans never get to see. LeBron and Curry on the same team would be fun, so would Wall sharing the backcourt with Klay Thompson and James Harden. Want to see what Wall would look like playing with Kevin Durant? This could be your chance.
What we're rooting for
Beyond the obvious storylines perpetuating the off-court drama that makes the NBA so interesting, here's something that would be fun: a team full of unicorns, the type of athletes the NBA is becoming increasingly centered around.
Here's a lineup: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kristaps Porzingis, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert. Or maybe Karl-Anthony Towns, or Joel Embiid.
Either way, you could put five players on the court who boast insane length and athleticism, while having no specific position. This new All-Star format is pretty much the only way this can happen.
Let's make it a reality.