As the tragedy of the death of Kobe Bryant continues to reverberate throughout the NBA community, the league has unveiled drastic changes ahead of its annual All-Star Game in order to pay tribute to the legendary Laker.
On Thursday, the NBA announced that its All-Star game will abandon its traditional rules in favor of transforming each quarter into a mini-game in order to raise money for charity.
The changes are a bit confusing, so bear with me:
- For the first three quarters, it’ll be business as usual. However, the score will reset to 0-0 at the beginning of the second and third quarter.
- Each team will begin the fourth quarter with their cumulative score and play for the Final Target Score, which is determined by adding 24 points—a nod to Kobe Bryant’s jersey number—to whoever is in the lead. So to clarify, if Team LeBron starts the fourth quarter up 100-95, the first team to score 124 points wins.
“We spent a lot of time considering the right target number to use for the fourth quarter,” Byron Spruell, the NBA’s president of league operations, told ESPN. “Through the events of this week it became clear to us that the only appropriate number for this season’s All-Star game is 24.”
Did I mention that the fourth quarter won’t have a game clock? Oh. (Remember, the game ends when they hit the Final Target Score.)
Of additional note, the team captains—LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo—will each select a Chicago-based charity, and here’s how money will be raised for those organizations.
The winner of each of the first three quarters will earn $100,000 for its charity, according to the report. If there’s a tie, the $100,000 will roll over to the next quarter.
The winner of the game will earn $200,000 for its charity, adding up to $500,000 at stake. If the losing team gets swept through all three quarters, its designated charity is guaranteed $100,000.
This is a complete overhaul of the biggest showcase of NBA talent and, as to be expected, fans aren’t particularly keen on these changes.
I commend the league for finding a way to pay tribute to one of its greatest players and I’ll wait and see how the results play out on the floor.