The 2018 All-Star Game format underwent a change in 2018, ditching the East vs. West setup in favor of its new format, in which the two players receiving the most votes are the “captains” of the two teams, and take turns selecting their teammates from the pool of other All-Stars, á la pickup basketball. The most common complaint about last year’s changes was that the draft wasn’t televised; instead, it was done in private, over a conference call. For the 2019 NBA All-Star Game Draft, the league is remedying that, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times:
The National Basketball Association and the N.B.A. Players Association have agreed to televise the playground-style draft in which two captains will select their squads for the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., according to two people familiar with the plans.
A firm date and specific format for the televised draft has not yet been finalized, but Jan. 30 and 31 have emerged as two potential targets for a TNT broadcast, according to the people, who were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly. The schedule availability of the two captains, once they are identified through fan balloting, is among the variables needed to lock in the broadcast specifics.
The Draft should draw in tons of viewers; perhaps as many as the All-Star Game itself. After all, who wouldn’t want to see whom the captains, whoever they may be (last time they were LeBron James and Stephen Curry), draft first? Will they take the best players available first? Their friends? Their teammates? There’s tons of intrigue.