All-Star Game — James, ‘Ante’ named captains

LeBron James

LOS ANGELES9 (AFP) - Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains of their teams after leading their respective conferences in voting, the NBA announced on Thursday.

Joining James as a Western Conference all-star are Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Golden State guard Stephen Curry and Houston Rockets guard James Harden.

Antetokounmpo is joined in the East by Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard and Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid in the frontcourt and two guards, Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets and Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics.

Walker is the lone first time starter among the 10 starters.

This marks James’ 15th all-star game start, tying him with Kobe Bryant for the most of all-time. He has not played since injuring his groin in a Christmas Day victory over the Warriors.

The starters were chosen by a vote that included ballots from mainly fans, but also players and the media.

Each of the West’s starters have been named an all-star at least six times.

Irving leads the East starters with a half dozen selections. Antetokounmpo is making his third all-star appearance.

As the captains, James — who earned 4.6 million fan votes — and Antetokounmpo will fill out their teams for the game with a draft on February 7.

James, who was also the top overall vote receiver in 2018, will select first from a pool of players voted as starters and reserves to fill out Team James.