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NBA All Star explained

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There’s no shame in needing to have the NBA All Star explained. If anything, it’s odd to watch the best players on Earth teaming up against each other. Ironically, that’s also the beauty of the game, as it allows us to watch something that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

There’s no salary-cap. There are no divisions, no conferences; just the best players in the Association going to-to-toe to prove they’re the creme of the crop. But as it usually happens in the NBA, defense is no longer seen on the court, and it’s become more of a show than anything else.

NBA All Star explained

With that being said, now that we’re officially reaching that point in the campaign, we’ll dig deep into one of the most iconic moments of the NBA season. So, without further ado, sit down and buckle up as you finally get the NBA All Star explained.

How does NBA All Star work?

Well, as you may notice already, the NBA All-Star features only the best players in the league, or at least that’s the intention. For this matchup, two teams of 11 players each go head-to-head to determine the winner. It used to be Western Conference vs Eastern Conference but it doesn’t work that way anymore.

Now, the top vote-getters from each conference make a draft to select their teammates, with the player who got the most votes in charge of the first-overall pick. They choose the starters in the first round from a pool of 8 players (4 leading vote-getters from each conference), and then the subs in the second round from a pool of 12 players voted as All-Stars by the coaches.


The players will then play a normal game for the first three quarters. Then, the fourth quarter will be played with no clock. Instead, they’ll play until they reach a target score, which is the current score of whoever’s leading after three quarters + 24. This is a way to honor the late great Kobe Bryant, who wore no. 24. It’s also a way to incentive players to play defense in the fourth quarter.

What is the point of the All-Star game?

A big part of having the NBA All Star explained lies here. I mean, what’s the point? In Major League Baseball, the winning league used to receive home-field advantage in the World Series. But as that’s not the case in the NBA, why would players take part in this game?

Well, for entertainment purposes, prestige, and financial incentives. This game has historically featured the greatest players in league history, so it’s a nice addition to any player’s résumé. Even so, some guys like Jimmy Butler would rather not play or barely play and take the All-Star weekend to get some rest for the second half of the season.

The league has added financial incentives, and some players have kicker bonuses or incentives on their contracts for getting All-Star recognition. But other than giving the fans a nice show to watch mid-season and donating some of the proceedings to charity, there’s no point in this game.

How do NBA players make the All Star game?

Fans from all over the world always make the most of the opportunity of voting for All-Star rosters. They partly choose the ten starters for the game, five from the Eastern Conference and five from the Western Conference. Notably, they can only choose two backcourt players and three frontcourt players, so it’s position-based voting.


The top five vote-getters from each conference are deemed as starters, while the rest of the pool is completed based on coaches’ voting. That’s to make sure all players who make the game are actually deserving of it and not just a popularity contest. Of course, with that much talent in the league, someone will always get snubbed. Also, the league can vote to replace an injured player with another All-Star-worthy candidate.

Do players get paid more for the All Star game?

Yes, as we previously mentioned, the league added a financial incentive to make players want to play harder in this game. The winner takes $100,000 per player, whereas the runner-up gets only $25,000. That’s a big enough gap to make players try to play for the win.

Are players paid for the dunk contest?

Yes, but barely. Despite being one of the most popular events in the All-Star weekend, the winner of the Dunk Contest only gets $40,000. That’s one of the main reasons why star players refuse to risk injury and take place in this contest.

They should make it at least $150,000 to see if we can get one of the best dunk contest of all time with players like Russell Westbrook or LeBron James taking places. This should be a point of emphasis for the process of NBA All Star going forward.

Why don’t players defend in All Star?

The greatest All Star games ever have had players actually play defense, but that’s something that just doesn’t happen anymore. Why’s that? Well, as it happens in every single sport, defense and fouls in basketball can lead to injury.

More than that, players reach the All-Star Game at the midpoint of the season, so their bodies have already shouldered a heavy workload. That leaves the door wide open for soft-tissue injuries that could linger for the remainder of the season. Obviously, no one wants to risk health when the playoffs are in-sight, especially for a meaningless game.

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