On Wednesday, the NBA announced the captains and 10 starters for this year’s All-Star Game. On Friday, coaches for each of the teams were declared.
While the squads have not been confirmed yet, it is known that the two team captains will be LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the top vote-getters in each conference. Each team will be coached by the head coach of the team in their conference with the best record as of Sunday, February 21.
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and his staff will coach Team LeBron, representing the Western Conference. Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and his staff will coach Team Durant, representing the Eastern Conference.
Snyder has earned a spot as an NBA All-Star Game head coach for the first time. Joining Frank Layden (1984), he is Jazz’s second NBA All-Star Game head coach. This season, he has guided Utah to an NBA-leading record of 24-5 (.828) which is the best start to a season in franchise history through 29 games. The Jazz will be seeking its 10th straight win when it visits the LA Clippers on Friday. He is merely five wins away from his 300th career win.
Team Durant saw a bit of drama in terms of deciphering who their head coach would be. With the Brooklyn Nets racing, their coach, Steve Nash, had a chance to earn the honour. A Philadelphia 76ers victory against the Chicago Bulls solidified the job for Doc Rivers and his staff.
Previously, Rivers guided the Eastern Conference in the 2008 and 2011 NBA All-Star Games as the Boston Celtics’ head coach. He is Philadelphia’s first NBA All-Star Game head coach since Larry Brown (2001), and ranks 10th on the league’s career wins list with a record of 963-691 (.582) in 22 NBA seasons. He led the Celtics to the NBA championship in the 2007-08 season.
Since the inception of the reformatted All-Star Game, James has been a captain in every season. This will be Durant’s first chance to draft.
Similar to last season, the league will be using a modified version of the Elam Ending in which a target score 24 points ahead of the leading team’s point total is set after three quarters. The number 24 has been chosen to honour the late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant who died in a tragic helicopter accident last year.
The reserves for the All-Star Game will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The All-Star Draft will be held on Thursday, March 4.