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Fans want the biggest names — and established stars — on the All-Star stage in Salt Lake City in February, and they’re hard to argue with.
Kevin Durant and LeBron James are leading fan voting and would be the captains picking their teams this year based on the first round of fan voting for the 2023 All-Star Game released today. Fans are leaning towards high-profile established stars with good playing streaks – some of whom have missed time through injuries but that hasn’t bothered voters.
Here is the list after the first round of fan voting with their total votes:
1. LeBron James (Lakers) 3,168,694
2. Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) 2,237,768
3.Anthony Davis (Lakers) 2,063,325
4. Zion Williamson (Pelicans) 1,924,222
5. Andrew Wiggins (Warrior) 1,123,898
6. Paul George (Clippers) 955,896
7. Lauri Markkanen (jazz) 466,988
8. Draymond Green (Warrior) 405,245
9.Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) 303,477
10. Kevon Looney (Warrior) 245,985
1. Stephen Curry (Warrior) 2,715,520
2. Luka Doncic (Mavericks) 2,388,502
3. Yes Morant (Grizzlies) 915.507
4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) 911,774
5. Klay Thompson (Warrior) 514.104
6.Russell Westbrook (Lakers) 448,224
7.Damian Lillard (Trailblazer) 314.158
8. Devin Booker (Suns) 224,961
9 Austin Reaves (Lakers) 144,520
10. Jordan Poole (Warrior) 138,392
1. Kevin Durant (Nets) 3,118,545
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) 2,998,327
3. Joel Embiid (76s) 2,226,712
4.Jayson Tatum (Celtics) 2,178,330
5. Jimmy Butler (Heat) 477.008
6. Pascal Siakam (Rapotors 324,632
7. Kyle Kuzma (Wizard) 234.035
8. Paolo Banchero (Magic) 212.417
9. Nic Claxton (Nets) 160.407
10. Jarrett Allen (Cavaliers) 121.561
1. Kyrie Irving (Nets) 2,071,715
2. Donovan Mitchell (Cavaliers) 1,637,374
3. James Harden (76ers) 1,161,593
4.Jaylen Brown (Celtics) 1,032,522
5. Trae Young (Hawks) 791,354
6. DeMar DeRozan (Bulls) 544,629
7. LaMelo Ball (Hornets) 299.113
8. Tyrese Haliburton (pacemaker) 281,691
9. Derrick Rose (Bulls) 220,229
10. Darius Garland (Cavaliers) 143.826
Here are a few thoughts on that:
• The run-up to the Eastern Conference remains the most difficult decision: Durant, Antetokounmpo, Embiid and Tatum are all deserved starting XIs. One of them has to come from the bank. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and it’s likely that player and media votes for these spots are just as close as fan votes (remember, it’s fans 50%, players 25%, media 25 %). That means the fan vote can prevail.
• How important is missed games in All-Star selection? Should it matter? Both the Warriors’ Curry and Lakers’ Davis played well enough to be All-Star starters, but both have missed significant time over the past month due to injuries. While that could affect things like the MVP or All-NBA voting at the end of the season, should it be for an exhibition game for the fans? With their voices, these fans have made it clear that it doesn’t matter.
• It will be interesting to see how players and media vote for Kyrie Irving. Could they beat him as a starter in favor of Harden or someone else?
• Surprise Orders: No Jalen Brunson in the East Guards? No Bam Adebayo in the eastern courtyard? Both deserve a few votes (Adebayo undoubtedly deserves to be in Salt Lake City).
• Also, no one in the top 10 from this expensive Minnesota Timberwolves frontcourt.
• There is a huge fan vote gap for the West Guards between the top two – Curry and Doncic – and third-placed Ja Morant. Probably too much for him to make up for.
• Tyrese Haliburton is under, he’s having a fantastic season. Should be considered for a number.
• That Russell Westbrook and Austin Reaves are in the West Guard’s top 10 shows the power of the Lakers voting bloc.
• Several other potential first-time All-Stars made the fan top 10: Lauri Markkanen, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kyle Kuzma headed that list. Rookie Paolo Banchero also made the top 10 vote collectors in the East.
• Fans vote for starters—two guards, three frontcourts in each conference—but reserves for each team are determined by a vote by NBA coaches.
• Fan All-Star voting will continue on the NBA app and NBA.com through January 21 (no social media voting this year). On January 6th, 13th, 16th and 20th all fan votes count triple.
• As in previous years, fan votes will account for 50% of the total for each player, with votes from NBA players accounting for 25% and votes from a panel of NBA media making up the other 25%.