NBA: Giannis and LeBron lead early voting for NBA All-Star Game

AFP , Thursday 4 Jan 2024

Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James lead the first fan voting results for next month's NBA All-Star Game in balloting revealed on Thursday.

LeBron James   Giannis Antetokounmpo
FILE - LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers backs in on Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter at Staples Center on March 06, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. Photo: AFP


Greek big man Antetokounmpo had the overall lead at 2,171,812 votes to pace the Eastern Conference frontcourt while James was next on 2,008,645 to lead the Western Conference frontcourt.

Starters for the 73rd edition of the annual showdown of elite talent will be determined by a formula that includes 50% fan voting and 25% each from NBA players and a media panel.

The 2024 NBA All-Star Game will be played on February 18 at Indianapolis.

Other leaders in the East frontcourt include Cameroonian star and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid of Philadelphia on 1,844,025 and Jayson Tatum of NBA overall leader Boston on 1,765,919 with Miami's Jimmy Butler a distant fourth on 767,913.

Eastern guards leaders were Indiana's Tyrese Haliburton on 1,380,795 and Milwaukee's Damian Lillard on 955,751 while Atlanta's Trae Young was just outside a starting spot on 873,979.

Other West frontcourt leaders include Phoenix's Kevin Durant on 1,807,394 and Serbian center Nikola Jokic of reigning NBA champion Denver on 1,636,041 with Lakers standout Anthony Davis fourth on 988,225.

Slovenian guard Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks led West guards on 1,452,733 with Golden State's Stephen Curry second on 1,394,980 and Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander third on 966,927.

The roster selection format has changed for this year's All-Star Game with the lineups returning to an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference format.

For the past six seasons, the top vote-getter from each conference would serve as a captain and select his roster from a draft of the other players named as starters.

That format saw James serve as a captain six times, winning five in a row until losing last year to a team captained by Antetokounmpo. James collected earlier wins over clubs captained by Curry, Durant and Antetokounmpo.

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