For the past few years, NBA All-Star voting results have reflected very little surprises.
It's always the same old story: LeBron James leads the way, followed by Steph, Westbrook, Harden, and some other long-time vets who the fans vote in for nostalgia's sake. This year, while a lot of the folks you'd expect to lead the pack are doing just that, there's been a number of big shockers.
Granted, these are only the first returns, and there's more than enough time for things to change (in fact, they probably will). Still, it's hard not to batt an eyelash at these latest results.
Let's start with the East, as listed by NBA.com...
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2. LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3. Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
4. Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
5. Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
6. Al Horford (BOS) 120,016
7. Jayson Tatum (BOS) 98,586
8. Andre Drummond (DET) 85,374
9. Enes Kanter (NYK) 83,102
10. Dwight Howard (CHA) 57,730
1. Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
2. DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
3. Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
4. Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
5. John Wall (WAS) 175,990
6. Dwyane Wade (CLE) 165,163
7. Isaiah Thomas (CLE) 87,680
8. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 85,070
9. Bradley Beal (WAS) 71,079
10. Jaylen Brown (BOS) 51,562
For one, LeBron James is not the leading vote-getter. That in and of itself is a pretty surprising occurrence, even if The Greek Freak has an entire country voicing their support for him. Someone else of note is Joel Embiid, who sits at third place amongst front-court players, beating out Kristaps Porzingis, Andre Drummond, Kevin Love and Al Horford. For the guards, Victor Oladipo seems to have a pretty convincing standing, beating out guys like Simmons, Wall, Wade, and even Kyle Lowry.
In the West, the surprises aren't as plentiful, but there are still a few names that may be a shock to some.
1. Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2. Anthony Davis (NOP) 393,000
3. DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
4. Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
5. Paul George (OKC) 291,495
6. Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
7. Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239
8. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 188,240
9. Kyle Kuzma (LAL) 184,338
10. LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS) 153,599
1. Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
2. James Harden (HOU) 602,040
3. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
4. Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
5. Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
6. Chris Paul (HOU) 174,343
7. Damian Lillard (POR) 148,622
8. Lonzo Ball (LAL) 120,817
9. Devin Booker (PHO) 91,562
10. Jimmy Butler (MIN) 88,009
Somehow, Laker rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma have made the top-ten in their fields, both receiving over 120,000 votes. They beat out guys like LaMarcus Aldridge, Devin Booker, and, shockingly, Jimmy Butler. In regards to Kevin Durant's placement n the list, it seems unbelievable that he'd be leading the West, considering all of the hate he has storming his direction.
If the All-Star game started tomorrow, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo would be the team captains.
As the All-Star game slowly inches forward in its arrival, these results are still subject to change. Nevertheless, the voting update appears to indicate a subtle shift in the NBA world. Could these next wave of NBA superstars be on the verge of taking over before out very eyes?