This time around the NBA All-Star Game draft will be televised, reports Marc Stein at the New York Times.
The National Basketball Association and the N.B.A. Players Association have agreed to televise the playground-style draft in which two captains will select their squads for the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., according to two people familiar with the plans.
A firm date for the televised draft has not yet been established, but Jan. 30 and 31 have emerged as two potential targets for a TNT broadcast, according to the people, who were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly. The schedule availability of the two captains, once they are identified through fan balloting, is among the variables needed to lock in the broadcast specifics.
This is going to be fun — captains picking and smack-talking, with Charles Barkley and Shaq going full-on Statler and Waldorf from the cheap seats.
In an effort to enliven a stale All-Star Game format, last season the NBA went to an All-Star Draft format, playground style. The fan/player/media vote still determined the 10 starters and a coaches’ vote still filled out the rest of the roster, but the two highest vote getters — LeBron and Curry last year — were named team captains, and they picked their players. Meaning rather than East vs. West, Team LeBron had Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis, while Team Curry had Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Except, the league did the draft on a private conference call. Of course, the draft order leaked out (LaMarcus Aldridge was last), but the league took a lot of criticism for it and even Commissioner Adam Silver has said he expected it would be a televised draft this time.