Two years ago the league implemented the All-Star draft, which freshened up the event a bit. Now, the NBA is taking a more radical approach and amending the game itself.
New All-Star Scoring Format
Rather than rolling the points over like in a normal game, scores after each of the first three quarters will reset, and the winner of the respective quarters will receive $100,000 to be donated to the charity of its choice.
Byron Spruell, the NBA's president for league operations, explained the reasoning behind the changes to the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds:
"We've been very focused on making it more competitive, making it more exciting and making it fun. And we've had a great collaboration with the union. For this year's game, we really focused on what new things we could do to make it a really competitive game where each quarter mattered in this case."
The winning team will receive another $200,000 to be donated to charity.
Final Target Score
Heading into the fourth quarter, each team's points through the first three quarters are combined, which helps set the "final target score," a new tweak for 2020.
The final target score is 24 points added to the point total for the team in the lead.
"For instance, if the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 100-95, the Final Target Score would be set at 124 points," the NBA said in its press release. "To win the NBA All-Star Game, the team with 100 points would need to score 24 points in the fourth quarter before the team with 95 points scores 29 points, and vice versa."
The clock will be turned off for the fourth quarter to guarantee a team hits the final target score, thus ensuring the 2020 All-Star Game will conclude on a game-winning shot.
Reynolds noted The Basketball Tournament has used a similar concept, called the Elam Ending.
Kobe Bryant Tribute
The NBA intentionally selected the number 24 as a tribute to Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash. Bryant was traveling with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna to her game at Mamba Sports Academy. Bryant, his daughter and seven others, including two of her teammates and three parents, died when the helicopter crashed into a Calabasas, California, hillside.
Given his legacy on the court, Bryant's death sent a shockwave throughout the NBA. Basketball fans, players and teams have all honored the 18-time All-Star, and Spruell said the final target score emerged as a way for the league to offer a subtle nod.
"We spent a lot of time considering the right target number to use for the fourth quarter," he said. "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."