The NBA All-Star Game is on February 19th. And no one will know the All-Star rosters until that evening.
Even the players themselves.
Team captains, likely LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and either Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee or Kevin Durant of Brooklyn, will make their selections during a live, televised pregame segment just before kickoff in Salt Lake City.
The NBA and the National Basketball Association announced the format change Tuesday night.
It @NBA: and: @TheNBPA announced today that TNT will air the 2023 NBA All-Star Draft as a new, live pregame segment in 2023. #NBAAllStar Game Sunday, February 19 at 7:30 PM ET from Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. pic.twitter.com/SuEw4mvfEE
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2023
This will be the sixth time the league has used the format where captains select their teams, but in the first five instances the rosters were selected days before the game.
The captains and starting lineups will be announced on Thursday.
James has been a captain for the first five years and, based on the league’s voting results released late last week, is a virtual certainty to be again this year. The leading vote getter in both the Eastern and Western Conferences qualifies as a captain.
Durant was the early leader among players in the East, then narrowly trailed Antetokounmpo in the final voting. He’s still expected to be named the starter, and it won’t be known until Thursday whether he’ll regain the Eastern voting lead in the final days.
Counting ballots should begin on Saturday.
“I want to play,” Durant told reporters in New York on Tuesday. “I want to be a part of all these events.”
James’ teams are 5-0 in All-Star games as a senior.
Durant has been a captain as the East’s voting leader the past two years. Antetokounmpo was in the previous two years, in 2019 and 2020.
The top three frontcourt players and top two guards from each conference will be selected as starters, and the leading total vote getters from each conference will serve as captains and select their teams.
Fan voting counts for 50% of the starting ballot, media voting for 25%, and ballots provided by NBA players for the remaining 25%.
The rosters, seven players from each conference selected by NBA coaches, will be announced on Feb. 2.