The votes are in.
The two biggest superstars in the league will be leading their respective teams as captains in next month’s NBA All-Star game. LeBron James and Steph Curry are the two leading vote-getters from each conference. James leads the list of Eastern Conference Starters while Curry is the top vote-getter from the West.
Joining James as starters in the East are former teammate Kyrie Irving, the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and first time All-Star, Joel Embiid. Curry’s teammate Kevin Durant is also part of the West starters. With the two Warriors are Pelicans Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and James Harden of the Houston Rockets.
Because of the new All-Star Format, the players these 10 players only form the All-Star Starter’s Pool. They will be the first group of players selected when James and Curry, the captains of their respective teams, select players next week. The All-Star Reserves Pool will be selected by NBA coaches and revealed on January 23. The full teams, as selected by James and Curry will be revealed on January 25.
This new format adds a layer of excitement that previous All-Star Games didn’t have. Because the teams aren’t determined by conference anymore, this makes for an interesting selection process.
James has the first pick in the All-Star draft since he was the top vote-getter this year. Curry gets the first pick of the jersey color since the West has home court status with the game being played in LA.
He has the pick of the litter and can actually form a team with himself and top rival Durant. Or he can team up with former Cavalier Kyrie Irving. Curry can arm his team with both Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Get it?). The two Pelican bigs, Davis and Cousins could end up facing each other depending on the selections.
Missing from the All-Start Starters was 2016 All-Star MVP, Russell Westbrook. He’s putting up near triple-double numbers but that wasn’t enough to get him one of the two West back court slots that Curry and Harden got.
Westbrook definitely leads the list of players who will make the All-Star Reserve Pool. Jimmy Butler and LaMarcus Aldridge join him as leading candidates for the reserves in the West. Out in the East, Victor Oladipo, John Wall and Bradley Beal are players that could make the Reserve Pool
Photos from NBA.com