With the voting phase concluded, the NBA has announced who will be the components of the initial quintets of the game of the stars. The results are obtained by giving 50% of the weight to the vote of the fans, 25% to that of the journalists, and the remaining 25% to that of the NBA players, and these have determined that Kevin Durant and LeBron James are the captains of the clash that will take place in Cleveland on February 20.
LeBron, who has been captain during the five editions in which the current format has been implemented, has therefore been chosen for the All-Star Game for the 18th time, which makes him equal to Kobe Bryant in the second position of the historical ranking of the league. Ahead of him is only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 19 choices, whom he will match under normal conditions next season. Durant, meanwhile, has been elected captain of the East for the second year in a row, narrowly beating Giannis Antetokounmpo in the fan vote.
Wiggins and Morant, debutants
The other players chosen have been DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young, Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid in the East, and Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, Andrew Wiggins and Nikola Jokic in the West. The Grizzlies guard and the Warriors forward are the two rookies on the list, and although it is a fairly expected choice in the case of Morant, it is more surprising in Wiggins, who is having a very good season but whose entry into the starting quintet was not entirely expected.
The forward has achieved it thanks to the support of the fans, since he has been the third most voted for the frontcourt from West. According to the voting data offered by the NBA itself, this has been one of the two elections in which there have been discrepancies between the different voting groups, since the players would have given said position to their partner Draymond Green and the journalists to Rudy Gobert. The other non-unanimous choice is that of Trae Young, because in the players’ vote it was Zach LaVine who finished second in the backcourt from West.
The leaders, without representatives
These results leave the Suns and Heat, leaders of their respective conferences, without representatives in the starting lineups, although the truth is that this was expected. While it’s more than likely that both Devin Booker and Chris Paul will end up representing Phoenix in the match, the two slots for the backcourt in the West they were very difficult to reach this year given the great level of Curry and Morant. In the case of Miami, their season has gone surprisingly unnoticed despite their great performance, which has surely taken votes away from their players, although it is to be hoped that at least Jimmy Butler will finally be in the all-star game.
(Cover photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)