The NBA is making some radical changes to their All-Star game format, in part to honor the late Kobe Bryant.
Tim Reynolds from AP has the details. Each of the first three quarters will be its own mini-game, and whoever is winning at the end of the quarter will win $100,000 for charity. The fourth quarter will be untimed, and whoever reaches 24 points first wins the final quarter. Here's exactly how it will look:
"The team that has the most points after the first quarter will win $100,000 for its charity. The same will apply to the second and third quarters. The scores get added for the fourth to set the target score — for example, if the score is 100-95 at that point, then the team that wins the All-Star Game will be the first to reach 124."
The fourth quarter will be worth $200,000 to be donated to charity. For now, this is a one-year change, but the league hopes that it will have enough success to be instituted in further games. If one team sweeps every quarter, the other team will still receive $100,000 to donate.
These are some big changes to help boost popularity of the All-Star game; while the current format is fun, it's never particularly competitive, and fan interest has waned in recent years. We'll see if this achieves the desired effect, but we can all agree that the Kobe tributes throughout the game will keep the tears flowing.