LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo lead NBA All-Star starters, named captains

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been named captains for the upcoming NBA All-Star game as the leading vote-getters from each conference among All-Star starters announced Thursday.

The two will draft the All-Star teams on February 7 from the pool of starters named Thursday and reserves which will be announced on January 31. Coaches will select the reserves.

James, Antetokounmpo will draft teams next month

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The league announced five starters from each conference for next month’s All-Star game, which were broken down with two guards and three frontcourt players voted in from the East and the West. The selections were made via fan, media and player vote, with fans counting for 50 percent of the vote and media and players splitting up the other half.

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will square off once again in the All-Star game. (Getty)
LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will square off once again in the All-Star game. (Getty)

Eastern Conference

Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Western Conference

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
James Harden, Houston Rockets

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

Paul George earned the start over New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis via a tiebreaker that gives more weight to fan voting over media and player voting. Media and players voted for Davis.

The selections leave plenty of intrigue for the February 7 draft, which will be televised this year after last year’s selection process between James and Curry was held in private to the consternation of fans and player alike.

Who didn’t make the cut?

The selections came down mostly expected, with Davis missing out on a start being the biggest surprise.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose were among the fan favorites who were high in the voting tally that did not make the cut as starters. Wade was second in the East among guards in fan voting, but tied for third overall as media and player votes pushed Walker to the starting lineup, where he will play in front of a Charlotte crowd.

Doncic may still make the cut as a reserve, but Wade and Rose are not having All-Star caliber seasons and are unlikely to be selected by coaches.

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