LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were voted All-Star captains

Boston — LeBron James And Giannis Antetokounmpo They were named captains of the two teams that will participate in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game next month in Salt Lake City.

James Relations Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — He’s about to pass as the league’s all-time scoring leader — 19 in most All-Star games. James has been captain in each of the six years now. Individual teams. The Los Angeles Lakers star averaged 29.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in his age-38 NBA season.

Antetokounmpo will be captain for the third time in his career, having done so in 2019 and 2020, and will be an All-Star for the seventh straight season. The Milwaukee Bucks star is averaging 31 points, 12 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season for the Bucks, who enter Thursday a half game behind the Philadelphia 76ers in second place in the Eastern Conference.

Joining James among the starters selected from the Western Conference is the New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion WilliamsonDenver Nuggets Center Nikola JokicGolden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic.

Other East starters alongside Antetokounmpo are Brooklyn Nets forwards Kevin Durant And his teammate Kyrie IrvingBoston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell.

Starters are selected by A Weighted voting process The fan votes are weighted as 50% of the final result, with the player and media portions of the vote counting for 25% each.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid Missed the cut after finishing third among East frontcourt players in the Player and Media Rankings and fourth. Fan vote. Embiid received 4,900,482 fan votes to Tatum’s 5,221,720.

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Lakers forward Anthony Davis West finished third in fan voting among frontcourt players, but seventh and sixth in player and media rankings, respectively.

Jokic, the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player, is having another impressive season, averaging 25.1 points, 11 rebounds and 9.9 assists on 62% shooting for the Western Conference-leading Nuckets, and is playing in his fifth straight All-Star Game. . Williamson, in his second All-Star Game appearance, is averaging 26 points, 7 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 29 games but has been sidelined since Jan. 2 with a hamstring injury.

Curry, now a nine-time All-Star, is recovering from a shoulder injury that cost him a few weeks this season. He averaged 29.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. Dancic, who leads the NBA in scoring at 33.8 points per game to go with 9.1 rebounds and 8.6 assists, is the fourth-straight pick.

Durant, a 13th-time All-Star, Jan. 8 after suffering an MCL sprain, missing a third straight season with the injury. Durant last played in the 2019 All-Star Game. , when he was named its most valuable player. But he missed the entire 2019-20 season due to surgery on his torn Achilles tendon and then missed every game of the last two seasons – both times he was named captain – due to injuries. In the weeks leading up to the Games.

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“Another year of not playing against my old teammates, I was like, ‘S—-. At that point, I might as well have missed the All-Star Game and not played against LeBron James at home,'” Durant said. Earlier this week, when asked about his frustration at missing another part of a season due to injuries. “Those are the things I look forward to. … More than just playing every game, I look forward to those things. But that’s part of basketball.”

Meanwhile, after averaging 26.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists so far this season, Irving, now an eight-time All-Star — “was suspended by the team for multiple games for failing to reject anti-Semitism,” following his tweet promoting an image with anti-Semitic tropes.

Tatum, now playing in his fourth All-Star Game — as the designated starter, after Durant last season — starred for the league-leading Celtics, averaging 31 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Mitchell will also make his first start, doing so in the city he has called home for the past five years.

Mitchell, making his fourth straight All-Star Game appearance, had a breakout season in his first campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers following a blockbuster trade to Northeast Ohio in September. He is averaging 28.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists for a Cleveland team that hopes to make the playoffs without LeBron James on the roster for the first time in 30 years.

“I’m definitely blessed and honored to be a part of this,” Mitchell told TNT in a video interview shortly after the announcement. “You know you always have a chip on your shoulder, especially when you’re trading and you’re in a situation [in Cleveland] Where … these guys believe in me, they go out and believe in me for what I’m doing. And I wouldn’t be here without my teammates and coaches.

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The seven All-Star reserves from each conference, voted on by the coaches in each conference, will be announced next Thursday. This year, for the first time, teams will be determined by a live draft just before the start of next month’s game, as opposed to a taped draft held in the weeks leading up to play.

As captains, James and Antetokounmpo are responsible for building their teams.

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