When NBA’s 69th All-Star game tips off in Chicago, Sunday, February 16, we know who the starters will be on the court for the league’s grand showcase of its talent.
For a second straight year, LeBron James (6,275,459 fan votes) and the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo (5,902,286 fan votes) will be the captains of their conferences respective teams. As leading vote-getters, they will be tasked for selecting the players out of the pool of the starters that named alongside the announcement of them earning captain honors. The All-Star draft will officially go down on Feb. 6 on TNT at 7 p.m. ET.
Fans make up 50 percent of the vote while media panels and NBA players respectively account for 25 percent each.
Joining Bron Bron (Captain) as West All-Star starters, his teammate Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and first-time all-star, Dallas Mavericks phenom, Luka Dončić (6,111,735 fan votes).
For the East All-Star starters, we Giannis (Captain), Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakim, who earned a starting spot in his first all-star appearance, Kemba Walker and Trae Young (2,829,969 fan votes) also a first-time all-star.
As expected as the news was announced, Young, Siakim, and Dončić all were emotional to learn voters bestowed upon them such an honor.
Of course, with these announcements, there comes some head-scratching from NBA fans as well. Some believe Portland Trailblazer’s Damian Lillard and the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler deserved starting nods, but with a league so loaded with talent, it’s understandable how they could be snubbed.
BUT that does not mean they won’t be on Chicago’s United Center court during the All-Star game. Butler and Lillard are one of the many names who are definite locks when the All-Star reserves are announced next Thursday (Jan.30) exclusively on TNT.
Names like Bam Adebayo, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, as well as Butler, lead the list of potential reserves from the Eastern Conference.
Over in the Western Conference Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul, the Clippers’ Paul George, Houston’s Russell Westbrook, Utah’s Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell are strong contenders for reserve spots.
TNT’s Inside The NBA crew unveiled their picks of NBA All-Star reserves, which should also spark some serious debate.
As for who the captains will select for their teams that is still up in the air, LeBron hinted he is not playing favorites when asked if he would choose his Lakers’ teammate, Anthony Davis, with his first pick.
Well, we will just have to wait and see, it looks like we should expect a great All-Star game though. One thing we do know is what sneakers to see on some of the player’s feet when they take the court. You can see the full lineup of kicks coming from Jordan Brand and Nike Basketball when you head here.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty