Thursday night (Feb.18), the NBA revealed which superstars will start next month’s All-Star Game going down in Atlanta. Kicking things off, Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant, who led in fan votes in their respective conferences, will have the job of choosing their team from the other remaining stars as captains.
Joining Bron from the Western Conference in the frontcourt are Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard, Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, and Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Steph Curry. In the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, join Durant as the frontcourt selections. Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal celebrates his first NBA All-Star Game start, and Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving round out the backcourt.
Of course, like every year, there was some drama when the starters were named. After all of the votes are tallied, each player is given a weighted score, and both Doncic and Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard finished in a tie. The starting spot wound up going to Doncic because he got more of the fan vote. If you perused through NBA Twitter, you would see fans believe Dame Dolla was robbed.
Another noticeable snub was the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, who is absolutely balling alongside Rudy Gobert plus Jordan Clarkson, who has led the Jazz to an NBA best 24-5 record. During last night’s Inside The NBA telecast, the always outspoken Charles Barkley sounded off about Mitchell and Lillard not being named NBA All-Star Game starters.
You can expect more drama when coaches name the 14 reserves from both conferences over the next few days. The names will be announced on Tuesday (Feb.23) on Inside The NBA on TNT.
Despite NBA stars, including captain LeBron James not really feeling the idea of NBA All-Star being held during this expedited season, the action will go down at the State Farm Arena on March 7. The usual All-Star, Saturday Night events will also happen on the same night. The 3-Point Contest and Skills Challenge will take place pregame while the Dunk Contest will be held during halftime CBS Sports reports.
Like last year, the NBA All-Star game will honor the late Kobe Bryant by incorporating his jersey number, 24, into the final score. Basically, whatever score each team has at the end of the third quarter, the first team to add 24 points to their score wins the game.
We are intrigued to see how fired up the players will be on NBA’s big night.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty