NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2018 – The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, who made his NBA All-Star Game debut last season, is the leading vote-getter in the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon.
Antetokounmpo received 863,416 votes to edge the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (856,080) by 7,336 votes for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and overall after the first 12 days of fan voting. In the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant leads with 767,402 votes and teammate Stephen Curry is next with 735,115 – a difference of 32,287 votes.
The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise the midseason showcase at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, marking Turner Sports’ 33rd year of NBA All-Star coverage.
Joining Antetokounmpo and James, a 13-time All-Star, at the top of the Eastern Conference frontcourt are Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (433,161) and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks (359,459). Four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics leads among East guards with 802,834 votes, followed by three-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors (259,368) and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers (251,886).
Durant, the reigning Finals MVP, is joined at the top of the West frontcourt by two members of the New Orleans Pelicans, 2017 NBA All-Star Game MVP Anthony Davis (393,000) and three-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins (356,340), followed by the Warriors’ Draymond Green (325,612). In voting for the West guards, Curry is followed by the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (602,040) and reigning Kia NBA MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (438,469).
Under a new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, the team rosters will be chosen by two captains from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.
TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader at 6 p.m. ET, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. The team rosters will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.
For the second consecutive year, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the All-Star Game starters. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each.
Players and select media will be able to complete one full ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards each from both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.
After all votes are tallied, players will be 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 will be 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 will be named NBA All-Star Game starters. Fan voting will serve as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score.
The next fan voting update will be shared on Thursday, Jan. 11. Voting will conclude on Monday, Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
See below for the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon.
NBA ALL-STAR VOTING 2018 PRESENTED BY VERIZON
1 Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2 LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3 Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
4 Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
5 Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
6 Al Horford (BOS) 120,016
7 Jayson Tatum (BOS) 98,586
8 Andre Drummond (DET) 85,374
9 Enes Kanter (NYK) 83,102
10 Dwight Howard (CHA) 57,730
1 Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
2 DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
3 Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
4 Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
5 John Wall (WAS) 175,990
6 Dwyane Wade (CLE) 165,163
7 Isaiah Thomas (CLE) 87,680
8 Kyle Lowry (TOR) 85,070
9 Bradley Beal (WAS) 71,079
10 Jaylen Brown (BOS) 51,562
1 Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2 Anthony Davis (NOP) 393,000
3 DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
4 Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
5 Paul George (OKC) 291,495
6 Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
7 Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239
8 Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 188,240
9 Kyle Kuzma (LAL) 184,338
10 LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS) 153,599
1 Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
2 James Harden (HOU) 602,040
3 Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
4 Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
5 Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
6 Chris Paul (HOU) 174,343
7 Damian Lillard (POR) 148,622
8 Lonzo Ball (LAL) 120,817
9 Devin Booker (PHO) 91,562
10 Jimmy Butler (MIN) 88,009
How Fans Can Vote:
NBA.com voting page at NBA.com/vote: Fill out one full ballot per day (per day is defined as once every 24 hours) on NBA.com/vote from a desktop or mobile browser. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. During the five “2-for-1 Days,” (Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan 11, Jan. 12 and Jan 15) votes through this channel will be counted twice.
NBA App: Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. During the five “2-for-1 Days,” votes through this channel will be counted twice.
Facebook: Post the player’s first and last name along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE on your personal Facebook account. Each post may include only one player’s name. Fans may post votes for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.
Twitter: Tweet, retweet or reply with an NBA player’s first and last name or Twitter handle, along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE. Each tweet may include only one player’s name or handle. Fans may vote for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25- Jan. 15.
Google Search: Search “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” and use respective voting cards to select teams and then players. Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.
Amazon Alexa: To vote via Amazon Alexa, the user must have an Alexa-enabled device, and enable the “NBA All-Star” skill. To submit a vote, the user can open the skill with, “Alexa, open NBA All-Star,” and then request to vote for his or her player of choice. Voters can submit a maximum of one player name per request to Alexa. Users can submit votes for 10 unique players per Amazon account each day from Dec. 25 – Jan 15.
Sina Weibo and Tencent: To vote on Sina Weibo (weibo.com), the user must have a Sina Weibo account. To vote on Sina Weibo, voters must visit China.NBA.com/vote, and select up to 10 players. To vote on Tencent NBA Community, the user must have a QQ account. To vote via Tencent NBA Community, voters must visit China.NBA.com/vote, and select up to 10 players.
SOURCE: NBA Press Release
Anthony Davis Breaks All-Star Scoring Record, Wins MVP
Pelicans star Anthony Davis openly proclaimed ahead of Sunday’s All-Star Game that he was going after the MVP award, and he didn’t make his master plan on how to do so much of a secret.
“Coach [Alvin] Gentry already told me every time I catch it to put it up,” said Davis upon being selected to his fourth straight spot on the Western Conference team. Davis took an All-Star record 39 shots and scored 52 points to lead the West over the East at the 66th All-Star Game, 192-182 — the highest-scoring game in league history. The 23-year-old’s point total smashed the previous record of 42, set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.
Source: Justin Verrier of ESPN
2017 NBA All-Star Sunday Recap
A breakdown of the final day of 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.
Coming in to the 2017 NBA All-Star game, the biggest storyline was Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as teammates again for one night. But it was hometown hero Anthony Davis who stole the show.
The Pelicans star scored a game-high 52 points, breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record of 42 points, as the Western Conference pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 192-182 win. A four time All-Star, Davis shot 26-for-39 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds as he took home his first All-Star MVP award.
It was also the third consecutive win for the West, who have now won six of the last seven matchups, as well as the highest scoring All-Star game in NBA history.
Westbrook and Durant did end up having a moment together in the first quarter, when Westbrook passed the ball ahead to Durant in the post, and Durant threw it right back to him for an alley-oop dunk. The play got their Western Conference teammates up off the bench, and they broke into a round of applause during a timeout.
After a back and forth affair for much of the night, the West was able to create separation in the fourth quarter as Davis and Westbrook took over. Davis threw down several thunderous dunks and Westbrook, who scored 41 points of his own, added a few deep threes. He shot 16-for-26 from the field, pulled down five rebounds, and dished out seven assists.
Durant had only the fourth triple double in All-Star history with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The East was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 30 points on 14-for-17 shooting in his All-Star debut. He dazzled the crowd throughout the game with athletic, high flying dunks. Cavalier teammates Lebron James and Kyrie Irving added 23 and 22 points, respectively. Irving also dished out 14 assists.
Other players making All-Star appearances for the first time were Gordon Hayward and DeAndre Jordan for the West, and Kemba Walker for the East. Hayward finished with eight points, two assists, and tied John Wall with a game high four steals. Jordan had six points, two assists, and three rebounds. Walker had seven points and six assists.
In all, it was a very entertaining game and made up for the somewhat lackluster Saturday night.
All-Star Weekend 2018 will be held in Los Angeles.
2017 NBA All-Star Saturday Recap
Basketball Insiders recaps All-Star Saturday night from New Orleans
Another year, another great All-Star Saturday night. Packed with excitement throughout, it was a great time for the players, spectators and those watching at home.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge
The Skills Challenge started off with the two guard matchups, pitting Gordon Hayward and Isaiah Thomas against John Wall and Devin Booker, respectively. Hayward ultimately came out on top against Wall, while Thomas cruised by Devin Booker into the semifinals.
On the big man side of the bracket, DeMarcus Cousins matched up with Kristaps Porzingis while Nikola Jokić went up against New Orleans’ own Anthony Davis. Cousins lost out to Porzingis when he was unable to hit the three-point jumper to end the round, while Jokić came from behind to beat Davis.
In the semifinals, Hayward squeaked by Thomas while Porzingis, who flew out to an early lead, barely managed to beat Jokić to the three-pointer.
Hayward and Porzingis matched up in the best round of the event. Both men hustled up and down the floor, making their first pass and layup at the exact same time. Porzingis emerged victorious, though, after knocking down his first three-pointer. The event ended with him being rushed on the court by Cousins, Davis and Jokić and taking home the Taco Bell Skills Challenge trophy for the big men—for the second straight year.
JBL Three-Point Contest
The three-point contest kicked off with Kemba Walker—who started off cold but salvaged the round by hitting four of five money balls in his final rack—finishing with 19 points. Kyrie Irving followed, upping Walker’s score by 1. Wesley Matthews looked like a deer in the headlights, making eight of 25 shots and scoring only 11 points en route to a first round exit.
Next, Eric Gordon came out scorching, sinking 18 three-pointers and scoring 25 points—the highest score in the first round. Nick Young, C.J. McCollum and Kyle Lowry joined Matthews on the sideline, scoring 18, 10 and nine points, respectively. Reigning champion Klay Thompson made a quick and surprising exit from the contest as well, as he managed to score 18 points. That score, while respectable, left him one shy of advancing, meaning that Walker, Irving and Gordon would advance to the next round.
Walker started off the final round by scoring 17 points, losing out to Irving and Gordon, who each turned in 20 points and, as a result, entered into an overtime shoot-off for the title. Ultimately, Gordon was crowned champion and handed the JBL Three-Point Contest trophy, besting Kyrie’s 18 points with 21 of his own.
Following a touching tribute video to the late Craig Sager, TNT’s Ernie Johnson announced that Gordon, Irving and Walker, along with a few surprise guests including Reggie Miller, James Harden and DeMar DeRozan, were given one minute to shoot as many three-pointers as possible. Each converted three-pointer, Johnson announced, would result in a $10,000 donation to the Sager Strong Foundation. Following some half-court attempts from Stephen Curry and a Shaquille O’Neal assisted layup from Sager’s son, Ryan, the donation amount eventually came to a total of $500,000.
Verizon Slam Dunk Contest
Other than Sager’s tribute, the Slam Dunk Contest was the most exciting event of the night. Pitting dunking aficionados DeAndre Jordan and Aaron Gordon against relatively unknown names in Derrick Jones Jr. and Glenn Robinson III, the contest was absolutely packed with energy and excitement.
To start off, Jordan managed to leap over a DJ table with DJ Khaled, who was holding the ball that Jordan grabbed and flushed. The dunk scored a 41 with the judges. Glenn Robinson III followed up Jordan’s dunk with an amazing one of his own, jumping over the equivalent of one-and-a-half men—one sat on the other’s shoulders. He performed the dunk while pumping the ball between his legs and flushing it through the hoop for a perfect score of 50. Derrick Jones Jr., who hurdled four people before throwing it down, earned 45 points.
Next was one of (if not the) craziest dunk attempts in the contest’s existence. Aaron Gordon, who tipped everyone off that one of his attempts would use modern technology, was aided by a flying drone. Gordon had the drone hold the ball about 15 feet off the ground. The plan was for the drone to release the ball and for Gordon to catch it on a bounce and dunk it. He managed to grab the bouncing ball and bring it between his legs before the dunk, but it took Gordon four attempts to successfully complete the dunk. He ended up with a low score of 38.
On his second dunk, Gordon scored a measly 34 points, giving him a total of 72. He failed at all four of his attempts and was eliminated. Next, Jordan turned 180 degrees before bringing the ball between his legs and through the hoop for a score of 43 points, giving him a total of 84. Robinson III sent Jordan packing, though, after he pulled a dunk straight out of the history books, dabbing before putting it through the hoop, à la Dee Brown in the 1991 contest. Robinson III scored 41 points on the dunk, giving him a total of 91. Jones Jr. then managed one of the best dunks of the night, taking it off a bounce off the side of the backboard and through his legs, stuffing it for a perfect score and a total of 95.
In the final round, Robinson III started off by leaping over teammate Paul George and windmilling the ball into the basket on his second attempt for a score of 44 points. Jones followed up with his worst effort of the night, failing to make any of his attempts and earning a score of 37 from the judges. However, Jones came back with a perfect score on his next dunk, taking the ball through his legs off the bounce and flushing it with authority. That gave him a total of 87 points. Robinson III matched Jones Jr.’s perfect score with one of his own, again jumping over George as well as two others, pumping it between his legs and throwing it down behind his head for a final score of 94. Robinson III walked away victorious and with the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest trophy.
The 2017 All-Star Saturday, gripping from start to finish, will go down as one of the better in recent memory.
Here’s hoping Sunday’s game is as good if not better.