NBA All-Star Game to once again adopt Elam Ending in 2021


By: Gabe Maturo

The All-Star Game will end on a made basket for the second straight year

Kyle Lowry took three charges in an NBA All-Star Game. It was in that moment that the legend of the Elam Ending was born.

After a triumphant debut last year, the Elam Ending will be back in the 2021 All-Star Game, the league announced on Thursday, 

“No one really knew what to expect in this new [Elam Ending] format,” said Hall of Famer Reggie Miller last year. “Guys were putting their bodies on the line. Kyle Lowry put his career on the line stepping in front of LeBron James coming down hill. Are you kidding me?!?”


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One of the Ending’s biggest advocates is All-Star point guard Chris Paul.

In TBT 2019, Paul coached his own team, Team CP3, and took them to the Greensboro Regional Finals.

In the first round, Team CP3 hit an epic, Elam Ending winning three courtesy of P.J. Hairston to send them to the next round. 


Following the tournament, CP3 brought the idea of the Elam Ending to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The commish then decided to add the ending to the All-Star Game in an attempt to increase the competitiveness.

“The genesis of this latest [All-Star Game] tweak comes directly from Chris Paul, who called me last summer and said, ‘I’m a big fan of The Basketball Tournament. Are you familiar with the Elam Ending?’ And I said I was…’It’s fascinating to me,'" said Silver.

The usual target score for the Elam Ending is calculated by adding eight points to the leading team's score at the first dead-ball under four minutes in the fourth quarter.  However, with the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant just days prior, Silver and the NBA decided to make the target score 24 points to honor his jersey number and legacy.


As it turned out, the Elam Ending in the All-Star game was a success.

“I’m going to suggest that the NBA immediately adopt this [Elam Ending] format for overtime in regular season games,” said Tony Kornheiser on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption. “Look at how much people like this!”

The ending was so popular that SportsCenter tabbed it one of the greatest sports moments of 2020.


“It might be one of the better competitive All-Star Games that we've seen in quite some time,” said Tracy McGrady on The Jump.

Players raved about the intensity and competitiveness of the Elam Ending. 

“I’ve watched a lot of...that $2 million tournament,” said LeBron James. “None of us knew what to expect. But throughout the whole fourth quarter and at the end of the game, everybody was like, ‘That was pretty damn fun.’”

“I feel like playing in the end was a playoff game,” added Anthony Davis, who ended up hitting the game-winner. “[The Elam Ending] was great. We love it. It brings competition back, especially during the fourth quarter --- it’s about getting stops. You have to get stops to win the game.”


Fans from all over were watching in suspense as they watched the game come down to one final basket.

“The [Elam Ending] format is amazing,” said Giannis Antetokounmpo. “It makes you want to play hard. Especially in the fourth quarter, the defense got tighter. Guys were hitting one another. Every possession counts.”

“We had a little bit of playoff intensity out there. So I loved it. I hope we can keep the same format for a lot of years.” 

That leaves one question remaining -- who will hit the game winner this year?!?