The NBA All-Star Game will switch formats this season, as two captains will select the teams regardless of 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 fan vote being worth 50 percent, player vote worth 25 percent and media vote 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 allows current teammates to face off. Depending on the makeup of the teams, it is possible players voted in as starters may not actually start the game.
Last season, LeBron James led fan voting in the East and Stephen Curry had the honor in the West. All-Star voting will begin on Christmas Day.
Under the new format, LeBron James and Stephen Curry -- the top vote-getters in each conference -- would have picked the All-Star teams last season, regardless of conference affiliation. David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images
The timing and details of the All-Star draft has not yet been determined, but it will be before All-Star Weekend. The starters will be announced on Jan. 18 and the reserves on Jan. 23.
The format will add a layer of intrigue as the captains will have to consider an array of factors when making the playground-style selections and add spice to the event. It has the potential to create extra meaning as past, current and future relationships between players may be considered when making the selections.
The change was part of a joint effort from the league and the player's union -- specifically union president Chris Paul. It was discussed over the course of the last few years. The league had revamped the voting system last season.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan, as the chair of the owner's 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.