Rules Changes for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game

The NBA All-Star game this year will feature some rules changes that pull from playground basketball. These rules are meant to drive competition throughout the game with some added incentives. Those changes are:

  • The first three quarters are played as individual games. This means, at the start of each of the first three, the score is reset to 0-0. The winner of each of those quarters wins $100K, which goes to the team captain’s charity of choice.
  • At the start of the fourth quarter, the clock is turned off the scores from the first three quarters for each team are combined. Then a target score is set by taking the leading team’s score and adding 24 (in honor of Kobe Bryant) to it. For example 135 + 24 = a target score of 159. The team which reaches the target score first wins the game and $200K to the charity of the team captain’s choice.

I feel like this will help increase competitive play during the game, especially before the fourth quarter where the game has had a habit of lagging trough bad defense and a variety of dunk attempts which become less thrilling as time goes on. By resetting the score and laying the incentive of charity money in the end, I expect better defensive play and more tenacity in general. Come the fourth quarter, one team is likely going to have more work to do than the other, so if they want that $200K, they’ll have to work for it.

One final nice touch to this year’s game is the renaming of the All-Star MVP Award to the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award. It’s going to be a fun and emotional night tonight and I’m looking forward to it.