LeBron James and Kevin Durant have selected their rosters for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, which takes place on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET.
MORE: 2022 NBA All-Star Game: Full rosters for Team LeBron vs. Team Durant
For the third year in a row, the NBA will continue to adopt the “Elam Ending” format for the All-Star Game. The NBA made this format switch in 2020 and, due to the resounding approval of how it impacted the game, the league has since elected to adopt it permanently.
What is an Elam Ending and where did it come from? We have answers below.
MORE: Watch the NBA All-Star Game live with Sling TV (3-day free trial; U.S. only)
NBA All-Star Game: What is an Elam Ending?
In 2020, the NBA switched the All-Star Game format to try and up the level of competition.
They adopted the Elam Ending, which is a format where teams try to reach a predetermined score in order to win the game.
When the NBA inherited the rule in 2020, it elected to honor the passing of Kobe Bryant by making the target score 24 more points than the total for the team that was leading after three quarters of play.
Using a real-life example to help make this more easily understood: In 2020, Team Giannis was leading Team LeBron 133-124 at the end of the third quarter. That made 157 points the target score to win the game (133 plus 24, in honor of Kobe).
Team LeBron ended up coming back to win the game, defeating Team Giannis 157-155. The Elam Ending forced both teams to dig in defensively down the stretch to try and prevent the other from getting to that target score, and it made for great entertainment (even if it suffered an anti-climactic ending at the hands of a game-winning free throw).
— NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2020
Where did the term Elam Ending come from?
It was founded by Nick Elam, who is a professor of educational leadership at Ball State University. He crafted the idea after watching the ending of a college basketball game drag out when he was a senior at the University of Dayton in 2004.
He wanted to create a way to maintain end-game intensity and drama without the dragging nature of fouls, free throws and reviews. Therefore, the Elam Ending was born in 2007.
The Basketball Tournament, which takes place every summer in a winner-take-all $2 million tournament, has made the Elam Ending famous and admittedly played a role in inspiring the NBA All-Star Game to adopt the format.
When is the 2022 NBA All-Star Game?
The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET at Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland. It will be televised on TNT and TBS in the United States.
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