Captains to pick teams for NBA All-Star Game after format tweak

NBA does away with East vs. West All-Star teams (2:15)

Rachel Nichols details all the changes the NBA is making to the All-Star Game. (2:15)

The NBA All-Star Game is switching formats this season, as two captains will select the teams without regard to which conferences the players play in, the league announced Tuesday.

The players who win the fan vote from each conference will be the captains.

There will still be 12 players selected from each conference for the game in Los Angeles on Feb. 18. Five players from each conference will be selected as starters, with the fan vote being worth 50 percent, player vote worth 25 percent and media vote worth 25 percent. Seven reserves for each team will be picked by each conference's head coaches.

The new system will enable players from each conference to play against each other and will allow current teammates to face off. Starters will be picked first, so the 10 players voted in as starters will remain that way.

Last season, LeBron James led fan voting in the Eastern Conference and Stephen Curry had the honor in the West. All-Star voting will begin on Christmas Day.

The timing and details of the All-Star draft have not yet been determined, but it will be before All-Star Weekend. The starters will be announced Jan. 18, the reserves Jan. 23.

The format will add a layer of intrigue to the event, as the captains will have to consider an array of factors when making the playground-style selections. Past, current and future relationships between players might be considered when making the selections.

The change was part of a joint effort from the league and the players' union -- specifically union president Chris Paul. It was discussed over the course of the past few years. The league had revamped the voting system last season.

Hornets owner Michael Jordan, as the chairman of the owners' labor relations committee, was heavily involved in making the change on the league side.

"I'm thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us," Paul said. "We're looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A."

It is a part of a package of changes the NBA has made this season with fan interest in mind. Other changes include making scheduling and rule changes to reduce players missing games to rest and the reduction of timeouts to speed up end-of-game situations.

"We're excited about the new All-Star format and appreciate the players' willingness to try something new," said Byron Spruell, the league's president of league operations.

There will also be a new charity element added to this season's game. Each team will select a national or Los Angeles-area charity where donations from the game will be directed.

The coaches will be determined the same way as in the past. The coach with the best record two weeks before the game in each conference will get the honor of leading the team selected by the captain of his conference.

Steve Kerr of the Warriors and Brad Stevens of the Celtics are ineligible because they coached last year.