How Are NBA All-Star Teams Chosen?

How Are NBA All Star Teams Chosen

The NBA All-Star Weekend is a mid-season exhibition that features the best players in the league competing against each other. These players are chosen for the game by a media panel, fans, and fellow players. The 24 players are split into two teams in a draft, where the two highest vote-getters serve as captains and take turns picking the other 22 players. Read on to learn more about how the NBA All-Star teams are chosen, including the current format and past versions.

NBA All-Star Team Format

As of the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, 24 players are split into two teams of 12 players each. The two players with the highest percentage of the NBA All-Star Vote serve as captains. Just before tip-off, the two captains will pick their teams, taking turns selecting from the 22 remaining players. Once each player has been selected to a team, the game will begin.

From the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951 all the way up to the 2017 edition, 12 players were selected from each conference to play in the game. The players represented their conference in the games, either Eastern or Western. Thus, there was no “draft,” and the players simply represented the conference their team was in.

For the 2017-2018 NBA season, the league completely changed the way teams were composed for All-Star Games. For the first time, the two top vote-getters in each conference served as captains, and picked from the rest of the 22 players to form their team. The NBA All-Star Draft would typically take place in the week before the game and was a televised event.

NBA All-Star Vote

The way players are selected for the NBA All-Star Game combines the input of the fans, players, and media. The NBA All-Star Vote includes a media panel, as is the case in other major sports leagues, as well as fan and player votes. The percentage of the overall vote that each group accounts for is as follows:

  • 50%: Fans
  • 25%: Players
  • 25%: Media Panel


How many teams are in the NBA All-Star Game?

There are two teams in the NBA All-Star Game. The two teams are named after the captains. There are other teams typically involved in All-Star Weekend, such as the teams in the Rising Stars and Celebrity Games, but they do not play in the All-Star Game.