Game or not, fan voting to select All-Star teams opens Thursday

Sport

It’s still up in the air whether or not there will be an All-Star Game this season (although the smart money is on it happening because Turner/TNT wants it to happen). The NBA and players union are in talks about a one-day All-Star Game in March — without all the weekend fanfare such as the Dunk Contest or even many fans — likely to be played in Atlanta.

Whether or not that comes together, there will be All-Star teams selected.

To start that process, fan voting for the 2021 All-Star starters opens at noon Eastern Thursday, Jan. 28, and will run through Feb. 16. Fans can vote for two backcourt and three frontcourt players from each conference.

With few fans in NBA arenas this season, the All-Star voting will be virtual: Fans may submit one ballot every day through the NBA App and NBA.com, plus they can vote for up to 10 unique players each day on Twitter (using the player’s Twitter handle or name in the format of the hashtag #FirstNameLastName, then also put the hashtag #NBAAllStar).

Fan votes account for 50% of the total to select the starters, with votes from NBA players making up 25% and select media members making up the other 25%. A vote of the coaches selects the reserves for the roster.

The starters will be announced on Feb. 18 on TNT’s Inside the NBA, followed by the reserves the following week.

The question is will those players have a game to take part in?

“Discussions surrounding a potential NBA All-Star Game are ongoing,” the NBA’s release said.

Assuming it comes together, it would be a charitable event supporting historically Black colleges and universities in the Atlanta area, as well as COVID-19 relief, according to reports.

There are still a lot of questions about the game: Will it be in Atlanta? Will the captains (the highest vote-getters from each conference) still select their teams in a playground-style format as has been in place for a few years? And will it used the modified Elam Ending that was in place and a success last season, forcing a player to make a shot to end the game (Anthony Davis did that with a jumper, lifting Team LeBron to a 157-155 win over Team Giannis).