Chris Paul explains why he suggested new All-Star Game format
Chris Paul made his return to the NBA All-Star Game for the first time since 2016, and he brought much more than an MVP-worthy performance. The veteran dime maestro was also responsible for pitching the new format, one in which the NBA found great success on Sunday, reinvigorating the competitive nature of the game and making it enticing to watch and more entertaining for the players with a fresh make-up.
Paul admittedly borrowed from The Basketball Tournament, a summer tournament in which several pro-am teams compete for a cash prize of $2 million for the winning squad. The NBA was determined to adopt that, and they added a target score of “24” points in the fourth quarter to honor the late Kobe Bryant.
Paul explained the big change:
“The TBT in the summer tournament where guys play and I’m a huge fan of basketball, I’m always watching and I said, ‘Man, this might be an interesting thing to add to the All-Star Game,” said Paul on Sunday during warmups. “I hadn’t played in the game in three, four years, but [the new format] it’s competitive in the way that it’s played because there has to be a game-winner.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 17, 2020
The first and second quarters were won by double digits, with Team LeBron and Team Giannis taking those, respectively. The competition ramped up in the second half, as the teams tied in the third quarter and Team LeBron made a comeback from a nine-point deficit to win the game on an Anthony Davis free throw.
Players hunkered down on defense during the fourth quarter, which seemed to be an independent game from the rest of it. The last few possessions were something out of the NBA Finals, making this format a huge success in its debut year.