On Wednesday, the NBA announced the 10 starters for March’s All-Star Game, and on Friday, we learned for certain who would be coaching each side. While the rosters themselves are not set yet, we know that the two team captains will be LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the top vote-getters in each conference. Each will be coached by the leader of the team in their conference with the best record as of Sunday, Feb. 21.
The Utah Jazz had already clinched that slot as of Friday, meaning Quin Snyder was already set as coach of Team LeBron. Team Durant, on the other hand, had a bit of drama. With Durant’s Nets surging, his coach, Steve Nash, had a chance to earn the honor. But a Philadelphia 76ers win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday clinched the job for Doc Rivers and his staff. He will therefore lead Team Durant in the All-Star Game.
This is Rivers’ third All-Star Game coaching gig, as he led the East in 2008 and 2011. Snyder has never coached the All-Star Game. In fact, no Utah Jazz coach has done so since 1984, when Frank Layden coached the Western Conference All-Stars. Legendary Jazz coach Jerry Sloan never got the chance to work with his conference’s biggest stars.
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. James has been a captain in every season since the inception of the reformatted All-Star Game. This will be Durant’s first chance to draft. Like last season, the NBA will use 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, with the number 24 chosen in honor of Kobe Bryant. The All-Star Game will be played in Atlanta on Sunday, March 7.