LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were picked as the captains of the two teams that will take part in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game next month in Salt Lake City. Five players each from the East and West were named starters for the game, the NBA announced on Thursday.
James and Antetokounmpo were selected as captains for gaining the most votes in their respective conferences.
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James and Antetokounmpo were selected as captains for gaining the most votes in their respective conferences. James has been a captain for every All-Star Game since the league shifted to the current format six seasons ago and has never lost. He ties Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most All-Star Game appearances with 19. He is about to pass Abdul-Jabbar as the league’s all-time scoring leader. The Los Angeles Lakers star is averaging 29.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists this season.
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Antetokounmpo will be a captain for the third time in his basketball career. He will be playing his seventh consecutive All-Star game. Previously, he was the captain in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The Milwaukee Bucks star is averaging 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 5.3 assists this season.
Starters picked from the Western Conference along with James are New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic.
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Joining Antetokounmpo among starters selected from the Eastern Conference are Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and his teammate Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell.
The starters are selected through a voting process that is derived from the fan votes accounting for 50% of the balloting for starters; selected media voters accounting for 25% and players’ ballots counting for 25%.
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The seven All-Star reserves from each conference, which are voted on by the coaches in each conference, will be announced next Thursday. This is the first time when the teams themselves will be decided by a draft that will take place live shortly before the start of the game next month, as opposed to a taped draft conducted in the weeks leading up to the game being played. The captains will be responsible for drafting their teams.