WNBA All-Star Game returns to Las Vegas with new Team USA vs. Team WNBA format

The WNBA All-Star Game is returning to Las Vegas and will look slightly different in this Olympic year. It will be the nation's best in Team USA players voted as WNBA All-Stars against the rest of the WNBA All-Stars, the league announced on Monday.

The annual game will be played Wednesday, July 14 to close the first half of the WNBA's 25th anniversary season. The game will air on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET from Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, home of the Las Vegas Aces.

The league will also take time during All-Star celebrations to honor the 1996 gold-medal-winning national team and its impact on women's sports as well its place in helping launch the league.

WNBA All-Star takes on new look

There will be a big change to the format. The 2021 All-Star Game will feature All-Star players voted in who play for Team USA against the remaining All-Stars who are voted on by fans, players, media and coaches.

The WNBA schedule will go on a month hiatus during the Tokyo Olympics. The final day of games is July 11 and the first date back is Aug. 15. The league has not hosted an All-Star Game during an Olympic year since 2000, when the league was in its fourth season and second of hosting the event. It skipped it in 2004, '08, '12 and '16.

The national team is hosting training camp in Las Vegas from July 12-18. They are scheduled to play Australia on July 16 and Nigeria on July 18. The Olympics begin on July 23 with the U.S. playing its first group game on July 27.

How to select a WNBA All-Star

Voting begins Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET for WNBA All-Star selections and closes on June 27.

Fans can visit the WNBA App or to select up to 10 players (four backcourt players and six frontcourt) per day. There will be two "2-for-1 Days" in which fan votes will count twice. Those are June 20 and June 27.

Fans will have the largest impact on the All-Star vote with 50% of the vote determined there. Current WNBA players' votes are 25% and a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters are the final 25%.

The rosters will be announced on June 30.

From that, coaches will take the list of the top 36 vote-getters who are not members of the national team 5v5 roster and vote for 12 players to be on the WNBA All-Star squad. Coaches cannot vote for their own players.

If a Team USA player cannot play, USA Basketball will appoint the replacement. If one for Team WNBA cannot play, commissioner Cathy Engelbert will name one.

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