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Players, Media Will Help Select NBA All-Star Starters

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For the first time ever, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the starters for NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans. NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon will tip off at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 25 before an exciting lineup of five Christmas Day matchups on ABC and ESPN.

Fans were first given the opportunity to vote for NBA All-Star starters during the 1974-75 season. This year, the league will extend the platform to include two other important constituents of the game – NBA players and NBA media. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a panel of basketball media will account for 25 percent each.

Players and media will be able to complete one full ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards from both the Eastern and Western Conference. Players may vote for their teammates or themselves.

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Report: LeBron James’ Camp Pessimistic of Paul George Leaving Thunder

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Remember when [Paul] George was so hell-bent on joining the Lakers? Well, that was before he found his way out of Indiana and into an Oklahoma City situation that might suit him well after all.

Even with the Thunder coming just two losses away from missing the playoffs, and then falling to Utah in six games during their first-round matchup, there is all sorts of optimism in Oklahoma City that George will re-sign. Conversely, there’s pessimism in [LeBron] James’ camp that George would leave Oklahoma City. George has raved about the Thunder since the beginning, making it clear to USA TODAY Sports in September that the organization had earned his confidence from the start.

It’s not hard to understand what might compel George to stay. The chemistry with Russell Westbrook is bound to improve if they have a second year together, and it doesn’t hurt that their off-court relationship continues to appear very strong. Ditto for George’s dynamic with coach Billy Donovan.

Source: Sam Amick of USA Today

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Report: Spurs Want to Keep Kawhi Leonard or Trade to East

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Fellow West teams have been told, in essence, to get lost – none moreso than the Lakers, according to ESPN. As it stands, the Spurs are determined to either fix the situation or trade [Kawhi] Leonard to an Eastern Conference team. For teams other than the Lakers, the threat of losing Leonard in free agency next summer makes the prospect of offering meaningful assets a complicated, calculated risk.

Not to mention the fact that the Spurs aren’t showing much urgency to make a move just yet.

Coach Gregg Popovich met with Leonard in San Diego on Tuesday in an attempt to mend fences, and longtime general manager R.C. Buford made it clear on Thursday that San Antonio is still trying to make this relationship work.

Source: Sam Amick of USA Today

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Report: No Rift Between Chris Paul and Rockets

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As for the recent report from Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard that there are rising tensions between the two sides because [Chris] Paul wants the full max and isn’t sure if he’ll get it, two people with knowledge of the situation refuted the idea there is any friction between the sides.

Source: Sam Amick of USA Today

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