Last year the NBA did something different for an All-Star Game that had grown increasingly stale. The two players with the most votes from each conference—last year it was Steph Curry in the West and LeBron James in the East—would draft their own teams, pickup style, without regard for conference. They're doing it again this year, with an important improvement: they're going to televise the entire draft, reports the New York Times via "two people familiar with the plans."
The five starters will still be selected via fan voting (50 percent), media (25) and player voting (25) before the February showcase, with the coaches selecting the the seven alternates from their conference. But whomever gets the most votes in the East and West will pick their entire squad from any starter or reserve and this time it's on TV.
Fans, media, and the players involved all enjoyed the change in the format last season, but the fact it was done privately seemingly pissed everyone off, including the captains.
The argument against doing it publicly was an appeal from the NBA Players' Union in an effort to spare the feelings of the players. But, as many pointed out, everyone in the draft is an NBA All-Star, which is already pretty select company. So what if someone is the last pick or they're selected after someone else. The picks leaked anyway. And if someone thinks they got jobbed by going late, it's just motivation for the player.
Commissioner Adam Silver, after appearing to blame Steph for the privacy surrounding the draft, alluded to a change following the conclusion of last year's game. "When we sat with the union and we came up with this format, we all agreed, let’s not turn something that’s 100 percent positive into a potential negative to any player. But then...maybe we’re overly conservative because then we came out of there, and the players were: ‘We can take it. We’re All-Stars. Let’s have a draft.’ So it sounds like we’re going to have a televised draft next year."
It seems he's followed through on those comments.