The NBA All Star starters were announced last night. The Eastern Conference Captain: Giannis Antetokounmpo. The other starters were: Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid and Kemba Walker. The Western Conference Captain: LeBron James. The other Western Conference Starters: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Paul George.
The five starters from each conference were chosen by the fans, media, and players. Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote while current players and selected media members count for 25 percent each. Starter lineups include two backcourt players and three frontcourt players.
Head coaches will choose seven backups for each team.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lebron James received the most votes in each district, this securing the captain position. Like last year, these captains will build their teams of selected starters and reserves without regard for conference affiliation. Like last year, instead of an Eastern and Western All Star Teams, they will be defined by the captains: Team Lebron and Team Giannis.
It was no surprise that Giannis took the Eastern captain spot. He is a lot of people’s favorite player because he is so fast and athletic and those type of players are fun to watch. Giannis will always be exciting. He won the vote with a total of 3,600,000 beating out Kyrie Irving at 3,100,000. The biggest surprise from the Eastern Conference starters was Kemba Walker being named a starter. He was expected him to be all-star but not necessarily a starter. He received and impressive 2,000,000 votes, considering he played in such the small market of Charlotte.
In the Western Conference, LeBron James, widely considered the best player in the NBA right now, if not the greatest of all time, was a lock for Captain. He is also the most respected player in the league and when people think of basketball, they don’t think about Michael Jordan, but LeBron. His four starters will be Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Paul George–all are very deserving of this starting spot in the all-star game. There weren’t any Western Conference surprises despite an outside possibility that Anthony Davis might have beat out Paul George considering the year Davis is having. Unfortunately, Davis’s Pelicans are not having a standout year.
The two captains will pick their teams from the available players in either conference in a live draft on February 7. The 2019 NBA All-Star game will take place on February 17.
Image Credit: Flickr / Keith Allison