National Basketball Association changing 2020 All-Star Game format, adding 24-point Kobe tribute

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Ben Simmons was chosen to participate in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game as one of 14 reserve players for the February 16 contest. Additional plans to honor Bryant during NBA All-Star 2020 in Chicago will be announced at a later date.

Per the league announcement: The NBA announced today a new format for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game created 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.

Thunder point guard Chris Paul has earned the 10 All-Star nod of his career, and his first since 2016. He won All-Star MVP honors in 2013. "It'd be hard-pressed to name another guard that's that much better than Devin, that is that efficient and plays the way he plays and means as much to our team and where we are as much as Devin".

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This new mini-game plays right into the NBA's quest to make the game more competitive, given that recent efforts with the All-Star Draft haven't changed that completely.

That is the highest number of all-stars that appeared for the first time in a decade.

Together with Simmons, Kyle Lowry of National Basketball Association champion Toronto Raptors returns to the game.

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The frontcourt reserves from Eastern Conference teams are the Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo (first selection) and Jimmy Butler (fifth), the Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton (second), the Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (first) and the Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum (first).

In each of the quarters, Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete for money for Chicago-based community organizations of their choosing. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will also be coaching Team LeBron. Scores will be reset back to 0-0 at the start of the second and third quarters, then restored once the fourth quarter begins, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

The East's starters are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam, Joel Embiid, Trae Young and Kemba Walker.

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The Raptors - coached by Nick Nurse - have the second-best record entering games of Friday.

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