The NBA changed the 69th All-Star Game format scheduled this Sunday. Each of the four game quarters will be separated into four mini-games. It will be the first time a professional basketball game will be played in this format.

According to, The first three 12-minute quarters will have one winner, with the winning team awarded a donation to their chosen charity. Scores are reset to zero in the second and third quarter "mini-game." The cumulative scores are totalled as the starting score of the fourth quarter. The team with the highest score plus 24 wins the All-Star Game.

24 is Kobe Bryant's jersey number in the second half of his career. There is no time limit in the fourth quarter. This will change the mechanics of the basketball game as a whole, and force coaches to dig deep into their benches to win the game.

For example, if the cumulative score of one team in the first three quarters is 100, and the other is 95, that will be the starting score at the fourth. The first team to reach 124 points wins the game.

This is what Team Giannis Captain and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has to say about the new format:

"The format is amazing, it makes you want to play hard and compete against one another. Each quarter you have the opportunity to win, and it makes it way more competitive."

NBA All-Star games are usually not competitive. It is to showcase skills on the court and give players a chance to have fun playing against the best basketball talents in the world. All statistics earned during the All-Star Game do not count towards their career numbers.

The new format is considered an experiment and may change to a different format next year or revert back to a regular basketball game. It is not the first time the NBA changed the All-Star Game to make it more competitive. Traditionally, it is played with Eastern Conference versus Western Conference all-stars. That changed when in the early 2000s, most of the competitive teams and players were in the Western Conference.

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Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history. Photo: AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND