The 2020 NBA All-Star Game Has a New Format and a Kobe Bryant Tribute

NBA All Star Basketball Game, Phoenix, Arizona, America - 15 Feb 2009 Co-winners of the MVP award Phoenix Suns' Shaquille O'Neal and Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant 15 Feb 2009
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The best NBA players in the world converge in Chicago for the 2020 All-Star Game on February 16, but this year’s event is unlike what you’re used to. The league has announced a slew of changes to the format, along with a tribute to the late NBA icon Kobe Bryant.

This isn’t the first time in recent years the league has made tweaks to the All-Star showcase: In the past, the teams were split by Eastern and Western Conference players; but in 2018, the NBA changed the format to captains. Instead of the conference split, the captains selected from the pool of starters and reserves for each team. That roster set up remains the same for 2020.

Here’s a rundown of the new format and rules for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game:

  • Instead of a total score format, the teams will start each quarter with the score 0-0 for the first three quarters of the game. The 12-minute periods will have a winner for each one, with the winning team donating $100,000 to the charity of their choice.
  • The teams will be supporting Chicago-based charity and community organizations, as the game is taking place in Chicago this year. The team captains—Lakers star LeBron James and Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo—will select the organizations for their respective teams.
  • The fourth quarter will have a different format and a tribute to late NBA star Kobe Bryant: When the fourth quarter opens, there will be no game clock limit, and the teams will play to a “Final Target Score.” That score will be set by taking the leading team’s total score through three quarters and adding 24 points—to honor Bryant’s number. Once either of the teams reach that score, that team will win the NBA All-Star Game.
  • The NBA gave an example of how the target scoring works: “…if the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 100-95, the Final Target Score would be set at 124 points. To win the NBA All-star Game, the team with 100 points would need to score 24 points in the fourth quarter before the team with 95 points scores 29 points, and vice versa.”

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game airs on TNT on Sunday, February 16 at 8 p.m. ET.

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