The NBA is making some big changes to the ALl-Star game this year. And while a lot of them have to do with the actual format of the game, they have also included a nod to the late Kobe Bryant. Like in years past, the winning team will get the money to donate to their respective charity of choice.
This time, though, the path to victory is drastically different. Every quarter will be like a mini-game for charity to lead up to an untimed final quarter with a target score that will decide which team wins. Scores will be reset back to 0-0 at the start of the second and third quarters, then restored to begin the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, with the scores reset, both teams will work to reach the target score, which will be determined by the total points the team in the lead scored in the first three quarters plus 24, an obvious nod to Kobe Bryant who famously donned no. 24 in his tenure with the Lakers.
In the past, there has always been a split when it comes to the All-Star game. For some, the players treat the match as more of a joke than anything, as defense and intensity are usually lacking in the contest.
For clarity, consider this hypothetical match:
Q1: East 35-29 West (West wins 100k for charity)
Q2: East 40-37 East (East wins 100k)
Q3: East 34-30 West (West wins 100k)
Q4: East 106-99 West, the game will be played to 130 (24 added to winning teams score)
This could be a way to fix that, as it might give more meaning to the quarters of a game and incentivize the stars to put forth more effort.
Of course, for others, it's far too complex. Was all of this really necessary to make the game better? Honoring Kobe could have been done in tons of other ways.
Nonetheless, the league intends to experiment until they have the results they desire.