Forwards LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets were named captains of the 70th annual NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, which will be played on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. .
James (17) and Durant (11) will select their respective teams from the 22 remaining All-Stars between now and the All-Star Game, having garnered the most fan votes at their respective Western and Eastern conferences.
The rest of the players who will be with them on the pitch left no surprises and they will all be favorites.
Alongside Durant in the Eastern Conference, Greek power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks, 5), Cameroon center Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), guard Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards, 3) and guard Kyrie Irving (Nets, 7).
Beal, averaging 32.8 points, is the league’s top scorer, and this year he joins the squad without the 2020 controversy when they initially left him out and then included him before the criticism the NBA has received.
This year also, it does not come in reserve, but for the first time, it will make it in starter.
Alongside James, in the West, Serbian center Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets, 3), striker Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers, 5) and point guard Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors, 7) and Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks, 2)) rounded out the top five starters list.
As expected, the fight in the West to close the starting five was more uniform in the definition of basic and guard positions.
Curry finished in the lead, but Doncic equaled Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.
Doncic was second in the fan vote, but third, behind Lillard, in the media and player vote.
Doncic’s final choice was down to a vote from fans, who numbered 50, and players and media got 25% each, so the first set in the event of a tiebreaker.
Lakers center Anthony Davis and Clippers forward Paul George were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the big men vote.
While Utah Jazz franchise player Donovan Mitchell was fourth among the West Guards.
In the East, Boston Celtics power forward Jayson Tatum and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler were fourth and fifth in the big men vote.
Durant and Irving teammate James Harden was third. Chicago Bulls ‘Zach LaVine was fourth and Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, who came second in the media vote, was ultimately fifth.
The remaining 14 spots for the All-Star Game will be determined by the coaches of the two conferences, who will vote for seven from the East and the West over the next few days.
The results will be announced on the TNT television network, responsible for broadcasting the game, which has been edited exclusively for television, which is headquartered in Atlanta.
Coach Quin Snyder (Utah) to lead Team James, a right already secured since Monday, while Doc Rivers, of (Philadelphia), can lead Team Durant if the Sixers win one of the next two games or Milwaukee and Nets lose this week.
For his part, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who canceled the Weekend of the Stars, scheduled in Indianapolis, admitted that the Atlanta thing was a way to obtain greater financial resources and that he assumed “All the blame” given the strong criticism he received for hosting an event of no sporting value amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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