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Adebayo and Gobert headline All-Star reserves

Nigerian-American center of the Miami Heat Bam Adebayo and Utah Jazz center Rudi Gobert will be make their NBA All-Star debuts as part of the list of 14 players selected by the NBA’s head coaches as reserves for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.

The 69th NBA All-Star Game – Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis – will take place in the early hours of Monday, Feb. 17 at the United Center. The game will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Adebayo is a third-year NBA player and has been named an All-Star in his first season as a full-time starter. He was selected by Miami with the 14th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, one spot behind Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz, another first-time All-Star this season. Gobert is a two-time reigning Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year is the second French player to become an NBA All-Star (along with Tony Parker) and joins Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam and Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton as NBA G League veterans turned NBA All-Stars.

The reserves selected from the Eastern Conference are Miami forward Jimmy Butler, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Middleton, Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.

Gobert, New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram and Utah’s Mitchell from the Western Conference and Adebayo, Sabonis and Tayson Tatum from the Eastern Conference comprise the six first-time NBA All-Star selections among reserves.

With 2020 NBA All-Star Game starters Luka Dončić, Pascal Siakam and Trae Young also making their All-Star debuts, this marks the first time in 10 years that at least nine players are first-time All-Star selections in the same season.

In addition, with Gobert (France), Jokić (Serbia), Sabonis (Lithuania) and Simmons (Australia) joining starters Giannis Antetokounmpo (Nigeria-Greece), Dončić (Slovenia), Joel Embiid (Cameroon) and Siakam (Cameroon), a record eight international players have been selected to the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.

Team captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Antetokounmpo of the Bucks will draft the NBA All-Star Game rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference. They will make their picks without regard for a player’s conference affiliation or position. Each captain will choose 11 players to complete a 12-man roster. The 2020 NBA All-Star Draft rules include:

  • The eight starters (aside from James and Antetokounmpo) will be drafted in the First Round.

  • The 14 reserves will be drafted in the Second Round.

  • As the top overall vote-getter among fans, James will have the first pick in the First Round (Starters). Antetokounmpo will have the first pick in the Second Round (Reserves).

  • The captains will alternate picks in each round until all players in that round have been selected.

The 14 All-Star Game reserves were selected by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. The coaches voted for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at either position group. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

The 10 All-Star Game starters, unveiled last week, were selected by fans, current NBA players and a media panel. The Eastern Conference starter pool is Milwaukee’s Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia’s Embiid, Toronto’s Siakam, Boston’s Kemba Walker and Atlanta’s Young. The Western Conference starter pool is James, the Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Dallas Mavericks’ Dončić, Houston’s James Harden and the LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and his staff have earned the spot to coach Team LeBron. Team Giannis will be led by the head coach from the Eastern Conference team with the best record through games played on Sunday, Feb. 2. Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer is ineligible because he served as a head coach in last year’s All-Star Game.

New Format

The NBA also announced a new format for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game designed to increase the level of competition throughout the game, provide additional excitement at the finish and make the outcome of every quarter count for charity.

The changes include a new fourth-quarter format that will honor the late Kobe Bryant, who earned 18 NBA All-Star selections and a record-tying four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards.

Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.

The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career. The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

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