Houston Rockets: Chris Paul led charge for NBA All-Star format change


The Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul wears a multitude of hats and it was his voice that led the charge in changing the format for the All-Star game this season.

Houston Rockets fans will see some differences in the format for the NBA All-Star game that is set to take Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 in Los Angeles.  Although I thought that a change was necessitated, I didn’t think that a decision would come this quickly ahead of the season.  It’s actually quite refreshing to hear this news.

Let’s face it — the format that has been the case since the first All-Star game held nearly six decades ago has finally ran its course.  With such a shift of movement to the Western Conference via free agency over the past few years, it has diminished the value of watching this game.  Although things were kept interesting in last year’s game — the West eventually won 192-182 — down the stretch, its clear that the East comprises of LeBron James and everybody else.

It was time to change it and I’m totally for what has just transpired.  I continue to praise NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for thinking outside of the box in regard to how making the most-popular basketball league in the world more marketable and appealing to fans.  This format change is certainly one of those moves.

So what has changed?

The obvious move was to get rid of the East vs. West penchant.  The All-Star teams will now be selected by two team captains which will be determined by a fan vote.  The player that receives the most votes in each conference will automatically qualify being the team captain.  These

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captains will select their players among the pool the players that were voted in by fans, media and coaches.

The voting process remains the same but the difference is that the captains can pick their own players so you’re going to see likely some crossover between conferences on either team.  This is a glorified, monetized version of pick-up basketball on the blacktop where the captains pick their teams to do battle with one another.

So could we see James Harden blend in with members of the East conference and the latter for LeBron?  It’s highly likely and it will certainly be intriguing to watch.

Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, had this to say about the change:

"“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,” said NBPA President Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A.”"

This certainly shows that Paul is too on board with innovative solutions to make the game better just as he transmogrifies with his high level of play on the court.

Next: Rockets: Projecting the starting five for 2017-18

Voting for the All-Stars will open up Christmas Day ahead of five nationally-televised games with the starters as well as the captains being announced on TNT Jan.18.  The information on those who are the reserves will be communicated five days later which will be Jan. 23.

I’m anxious to see how this will work out and it certainly will be something that most Houston Rockets faithful are on board with.

Go Houston Rockets.