Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant were named the captains for next month’s NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night.
James and Durant will pick their respective teams from the remaining 22 All-Stars on March 4 after getting the most votes of any player in either conference.
The All-Star Game — which the NBA earlier Thursday officially announced would take place this season — will be played March 7 in Atlanta.
— Firstpost Sports (@FirstpostSports) February 19, 2021
The players joining them in the frontcourt from both conferences went as expected, with Durant being joined by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid in the starting pool for the East, while James was joined by LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the West.
The backcourts, however, were more contentious.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was one starter in the West, while Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic tied Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. Doncic finished second in fan voting but was third — behind Lillard — in both media and player voting. That said, Doncic wound up being the pick to start because fan voting — which made up 50% of the voting, with the players and media getting 25% each — was the tiebreaker.
In the East, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer at 32.8 points per game, got one starting spot after being controversially left off the team last year. It was his first starting nod. The other starting spot went to Nets star Kyrie Irving, as he joined his teammate Durant.