The new NBA All-Star Game format should make things significantly more attractive for the league and fans, but it could throw up a few awkward situations. And of course, nothing would be more awkward than LeBron James having to decide whether or not he wants estranged teammate Kyrie Irving on his team.
On Tuesday, the NBA announced what is supposed to be an exciting new change to their All-Star Game format. The next contest – which takes place on February 18, 2018 – will not be a traditional East against West duel, but rather a mix of players decided by two team captains.
Fans shouldn’t worry, though, as their votes will still be the main determining factor in terms of who gets picked overall. The cast will still be made up of 12 players from each conference and five will be selected as starters. Supporters’ will make up 50 percent of the voting body, while players will be responsible for 25 percent, and media personnel for the remaining 25 percent.
The players with the most votes from the respective conferences will be named captains and they will then be presented with the opportunity to build their teams from the remaining stars.
The change in format was brought about to make the event more fun for fans, who are likely to be intrigued by novel and exciting combinations of players. Just imagine watching LeBron team up with the likes of Steph Curry in an All-Star contest; sounds amazing right?
18 days to tip...— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 29, 2017
LeBron James & Kyrie Irving played 18 games where each scored 30 points; LeBron & Dwyane Wade had 17 such games in Miami. pic.twitter.com/UuDlPUU0u1
But there are already concerns about how petty things could get. The Cleveland star received the most votes last season, and if the same were to happen in the upcoming campaign, he would be the East’s captain. So would he pick former teammate Irving, given the acrimonious circumstances under which they split up?
Well, we’re going to have to wait to find out. But Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love thinks it will depend on a couple of factors. And speaking to Cleveland.com, The former Minnesota star shared his take on the whole thing.
“Ooh. It depends on how far, I guess, how far he’s picked,” Love replied after being quizzed on the possibility of James picking Irving. “You know he’s going to pick… we talked about peanut butter and jelly this week and maybe the banana boat guys, so, we’ll see what happens.
“I know that he’ll have some fun with it. If he wants to, he has a future in this league of being on that side of basketball operations and I’d imagine he would put together a hell of a team. So, it just depends.
“If we need shooting, both (Curry and Irving) are there. If we need ball handling, distributing, both guys are there. That’s tough. That’s a tossup.”
The “peanut butter and jelly” phrase is based on Dwyane Wade’s description of his relationship with James, while the “banana boat” one was made in reference to the public friendship between James, Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.
If anything, the potential drama between James and Irving will serve as even more entertainment for fans, whether or not they play on the same team.
And while the change has been met with a fair amount of skepticism, it should add a great degree of enjoyment to the game.
Let us know what you think in the comments.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]