For the first 24 NBA All-Star Games, i.e., from 1951 until 1974, a panel of sport writers and sport casters was responsible for choosing each Conference’s starting five and the three bench players. In 1975, NBA All-Star fan voting was introduced.
Starting in the 2016–2017 season, for the very first time NBA players and media joined fans in selecting starting lineups. Fans account for 50% percent of the vote, while all current NBA players and a panel of basketball media account for 25% each.
After all votes are tallied, players will be ranked in each conference by position within each of the three voting groups – fan, players and media votes. Each player’s score is calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan, players and media votes. The five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) with the best score in each Conference will be named NBA All-Star Game Starters.
First, the ten starters (five per conference) are elected by fans (50% of the votes), players and media representatives (25% of the votes each). Two guards and three front court players will be elected for each conference. After the election, the 30 head coaches of the NBA clubs will select seven players from each conference (five of them on the five positions, two more position-independent) so that a total of 24 players will participate in the event. This procedure shall prevent that only popular players can participate in the NBA All-Star Game and less popular, but possibly better players, would be excluded.
Since 1951, the NBA’s All-Star game has been a contest between the Eastern and Western Conference. As from 2018, there is a new mode: Two captains select their fellow team players – regardless of whether they play in the Eastern or West Conference.
However, the basic selection of the 24 players in the All-Star Game has not change much: the ten starters are still selected by fans, current players and journalists, while the 14 additional players are determined by the head coaches of the NBA clubs.
In an alternating election procedure, the captains then have the responsibility to put together a team from the entire pool of players, regardless of position and conference. Captains are the two starters who got the most votes in their conferences.
What happens if the second and third guard finish with the same total score?
In that scenario fan vote would be the tiebreaker.
Did you know that players may vote for themselves or their teammates?
In 2017, 324 players participated with their votes (the league as a whole has about 450 players) and it is pretty obvious that some of them voted for themselves or joked with their teammates.
2018 NBA All-Star Voting Summary
See the full 2018 ballot for all the voting results and background relating to the 67th NBA All-Star Game that was played at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
Under the new format, two captains, LeBron James and Stephen Curry, drafted the 2018 All-Star Teams from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves, making the selections without considering the conference affiliation.
The captains were the All-Star Starter from each conference who received the most fan votes in the respective conference. The new system will enable players from each conference to play against each other and will allow current team mates to face off.