LeBron James and Kyrie Irving of the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry of the league-leading Golden State Warriors headline the list of 10 players selected by fans, NBA players and media to start in the NBA All-Star Game 2017. James and Durant finished as the top vote-getters at their respective positions among all three voting groups.
Despite leading the league in scoring and triple-doubles, Russell Westbrook was not named an All-Star starter.
In addition to James (frontcourt) and Irving (guard), the Eastern Conference starters include the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (frontcourt), the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler (frontcourt) and the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (guard). In the Western Conference, Curry (guard) and Durant (frontcourt) are joined by the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (frontcourt), the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (guard) and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (frontcourt).
The Eastern Conference and Western Conference starting lineups for the 66th NBA All-Star Game were revealed on TNT, which will also unveil the All-Star reserves on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. ET. The NBA All-Star Game is set for Sunday, Feb. 19 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans and will be televised by TNT at 8 p.m. ET and broadcast by ESPN Radio.
Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the NBA All-Star Game starters, while current players and a media panel accounted for 25 percent each. Fans cast more than 38 million votes during NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon, a 146% increase from the same time period last year. James was the leading vote-getter among fans with 1,893,751 votes, while Curry (1,848,121), Durant (1,768,185) and Irving (1,696,769) also had the highest fan totals in their respective position groups.
After all votes were tallied, players were ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes. Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes. The five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.
Fan voting served as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score. DeRozan (796,112 fan votes) won the tiebreaker with the Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas (755,102) for the second starting spot among East guards, while Curry (1,848,121) and Harden (1,771,375) won the tiebreaker with Westbrook (1,575,865) for the two starting spots among West guards.
Eastern Conference Starters
· Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: A first-time All-Star, the 22-year-old is the first Milwaukee player selected to the All-Star Game since Michael Redd during the 2003-04 season.
· Jimmy Butler, Bulls: Butler has been selected to his third straight All-Star Game and third overall.
· DeMar DeRozan, Raptors: Toronto’s all-time leading scorer is headed to his third All-Star Game and second in a row.
· Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers: The 2014 All-Star Game MVP is an All-Star for the fourth time in six seasons.
· LeBron James, Cavaliers: The leading scorer in All-Star Game history (291 points), James has earned his 13th All-Star nod (all consecutive and all starts) in 14 seasons. The four-time Kia NBA MVP is set to become the fifth player in league history to start at least 13 All-Star Games, joining Kobe Bryant (18), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14), Bob Cousy (13) and Michael Jordan (13).
Western Conference Starters
· Stephen Curry, Warriors: The two-time reigning Kia NBA MVP has made the All-Star team for the fourth consecutive time and the fourth time overall, all as a starter.
· Anthony Davis, Pelicans: Davis has been named an All-Star for the fourth time (2014-17), matching Chris Paul for the most selections in New Orleans franchise history.
· Kevin Durant, Warriors: Now an eight-time All-Star selection (every season since 2009-10), Durant owns the highest scoring average in All-Star Game history (25.6 ppg).
· James Harden, Rockets: Harden’s five All-Star selections have all come in his five seasons with Houston.
· Kawhi Leonard, Spurs: The two-time reigning Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year is a starter for the second year in a row after making his All-Star debut last season.
Photo: USA Today