The NBA is taking drastic measures in 2018 to ensure the All-Star Game is much more competitive than in years past. The exhibition is never going to have a playoff atmosphere, but what it has devolved into over the past decade, where there’s not really a semblance of competition, is not what the league wants either.
The first step the league took to try and spice things up was to get rid of the traditional East vs. West matchup and have team captains draft the teams from the player pool. This led to unique combinations such as LeBron and Kevin Durant being paired up on the same team after James selected the Warriors’ star first overall in the draft to keep him from being on Steph Curry’s team.
That change will hopefully bring more intrigue into the game because the All-Star teams that often feature the same groupings of stars over and over with little turnover, but also will motivate players to try a little harder. To encourage that competitive nature a bit more, the league has reportedly bumped up the bonus players are paid out for being on the winning team.