And-Ones: All-Star Game, China, Howard, RSNs

The 2024 All-Star Game, which will be held on February 18 in Indianapolis, will revert back to the old format of East vs. West, with no captain’s draft, the NBA announced on Wednesday (via Twitter).

According to the league, the All-Star Game will also go back to the normal game format — the fourth-quarter target score with no time limit will be removed, in place of the traditional 12-minute quarter.

The voting process for players to be selected will remain the same, with 12 players chosen from each conference, per the NBA.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former All-Star center Yao Ming, who is in the Hall of Fame and is currently president of the Chinese Basketball Association, says the NBA is still “first class” in his native country despite past conflicts, according to Amy Tennery of Reuters. “I have to say, the NBA is in the first class… (because) you know the players being exposed in China for so long,” Yao said. “The players, the teams (are) all still very well welcome in China and (we had) a couple of players with (in) China just this past summer.” As Tennery notes, former Rockets (and current Sixers) president of basketball operations Daryl Morey was criticized in China for tweeting support of protestors in Hong Kong, which strained relations between the country and the league.
  • Dwight Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year who has been out of the NBA since 2021/22, is seeking to have a civil lawsuit he’s facing in Georgia dismissed, per Baxter Holmes of ESPN. Howard is accused of sexual assault and battery by a man named Stephen Harper, with the incident taking place in July 2021. According to Holmes, Howard has denied the claims, saying the encounter was consensual and that he’s being blackmailed for money.
  • Tim Bontemps of ESPN takes an in-depth look at what’s happening between Regional Sports Networks and the NBA, primarily focusing on Diamond Sports Group, which filed for bankruptcy and airs games for 15 teams via Bally Sports.
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