NBA All-Star game changes


Column by Hunter O. Lyle – Sports Editor

Besides the playoffs and Christmas Day, the All-Star game has typically been one of the most exciting days of the NBA season. This year the game will feature returning talents like Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo — but also newcomers like Trae Young and Luca Doncic.

Regardless of the selections, the most surprising twist in this year’s game will be the new rules and framework the NBA has put in place.

The first major change of the game is that instead of a normal four-quarter game, this year the All-Star game will be played in four intervals. According to NBA.com, “Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.”

Along with that, donations to Chicago charities will be decided based on the winner of each individual quarter.

This change is designed to make the games more competitive, something that has been lacking in the All-Star games in recent years. However, I do not believe this is the way to do so.

While I like the choice to donate to charities each quarter, resetting the scoreboards after 12 minutes and starting a whole new game could lead to even less competition. I wonder if fans would rather see a game with a slightly larger point differential or one team get swept three games in a row.

The set up for the fourth quarter is also concerning.

“The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career,” according to NBA.com.

While I love Kobe Bryant, and I do think the league should honor him in the All-Star game, this method is a little too much. Too complicated. Too far off from the original intent of the game.

While I do not like all the changes to this year’s game, I will be watching. I will go in with an open mind, and if it does actually bring more competition, maybe the league should keep this system. I guess we will all just have to wait and see.

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