The voting results for this year’s NBA All-Star game starters were announced this past Thursday, January 18.
What is important to note is that the two team captains will be able to choose their squads from the pool of players selected by two different processes.
The other 8 remaining starters were voted on by the public, the media, and the players.
- 50% of the points awarded are based on fan voting.
- 25% of the points are based on the media’s vote.
- 25% of the points are based on the results of the player’s votes.
- The head coaches will select the 14 reserves.
The 10 starters will consist of two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference. The remaining 14 reserve players will consist of two guards, three frontcourt players, and two other players at any position, in each conference.
This will mark the first time in the game’s 68-year history that the matchups will not consist entirely of Eastern Conference stars and Western Conference stars.
The leading vote-getters (a.k.a. “team captains”) are LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors.
Joining James among the leading vote-getters in the Eastern Conference is Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (his second All-Star team), as well as Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, marking his debut appearance in the All-Star game. Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan was voted onto the team as a starter for the second consecutive year. This will be his fourth All-Star appearance. Kyrie Irving, the former Cleveland Cavaliers and current Boston Celtics guard, is the remaining starter in the Eastern Conference. There is already speculation as to whether or not, if available, James will pick Kyrie as his teammate.
In the Western Conference, Curry’s teammate, Kevin Durant will join him as a starter. New Orleans Pelicans teammates, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, will join each other on the starting roster. James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, is the Western Conference’s remaining starter.
This new format is likely to increase the competitiveness of the game. For years, fans have grown tired watching players compete, at times, at a lackluster pace, during the event. Now that all players are partially responsible for choosing the rosters, there is a bit more pride associated with being selected to a team. Even more so, with the new format of picking teams “playground” style, the players will take pride in knowing that they are among the first few players selected for each team.
A revitalized format, coinciding with some of the fiercest rivalries we have seen in the sport in some time, should rejuvenate interest in the game among fans and players alike.
Will LeBron choose rival Durant, or former teammate Kyrie? Will Steph stay loyal to his teammates?
We will just have to tune in to find out.