The game is set for Sunday, Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago, airing live at 8 PM ET on TNT and ESPN Radio in the United States.
The NBA All-Star Game changes hope to rescue a competition that has largely devolved into a run-and-shoot affair over the last few years, with defense forgotten and excessive showboating the rule. The new in-game actions instituted seem modeled after sports betting gambling propositions, likely an intentional move as more legal sports betting outlets have become legal throughout the US over the last year.
Kobe Bryant Memorial: Beyoncé, Jimmy Kimmel, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, NBA Legends & Vanessa Bryant Lead Celebration Of Life
The NBA claims the new format aims to increase the level of competition throughout the game, provide additional excitement at the finish, and make the outcome of every quarter count for charity. It will reveal more plans for Bryant tributes soon, it said.
In the 69th NBA All-Star Game, Team Giannis (for captain Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks) and Team LeBron (for Los Angeles Lakers great LeBron James) will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a “Final Target Score” will be set. The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career. The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game. The team that makes a final basket or free throw will thus end the game, creating some drama.
As part of NBA All-Star 2020, more than $1 million will be contributed to Chicago community non-profit organizations through NBA Cares outreach efforts. Each all-star team will play for a Chicago-based charity beneficiary, as selected by the team captains.
The community organization selected by the winner of each of the first three quarters will receive $100,000 – a total of $300,000 donated to charity for those three quarters. The winner of each of the first three quarters will be the team with the higher score at the end of the 12-minute quarter.
The winning team in the NBA All-Star Game will earn $200,000 for its community organization.
If the first or second quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 charity award for that quarter will be added to the next quarter’s award. If the third quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 charity award for that quarter will be added to the award of the team that wins the NBA All-Star Game.
If one team wins each of the first three quarters and reaches the Final Target Score first, $500,000 will be donated to the winning team’s charity and $100,000 will be donated to the losing team’s charity.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.