The NBA announced the All-Star starting lineups tonight.
EAST STARTERS: Kyle Lowry, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George
WEST STARTERS: Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, playing in his 20th and final NBA season, was selected to be an All-Star for the 18th time after the final results of NBA All-Star Voting 2016 presented by Verizon. Bryant, a four-time All-Star Game MVP and the top scorer in the game’s history, led all players with 1,891,614 votes to finish ahead of the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (1,604,325), who earned his third straight starting nod.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard were voted starters for the first time. This is the first All-Star berth for Leonard, who joins Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in NBA history to be named an All-Star, Finals MVP and Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Bryant, Curry, Westbrook and Leonard in the Western Conference starting lineup is Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, an All-Star for the seventh time.
The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, who trailed the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving by 32,285 votes for second place among Eastern Conference guards in the previous balloting update, surged to a starting spot for the second consecutive season. Lowry (646,441) finished second among East guards behind the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (941,466), who was picked to be an All-Star for the 12th time in 13 seasons.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James led the East with 1,089,206 votes to secure his 12th All-Star nod in 13 seasons. James, whose 278 All-Star points are two behind Bryant’s record of 280, is joined in the East frontcourt by the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George (711,595) and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (567,348). Anthony edged the Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol by 360 votes to earn his ninth trip to the All-Star Game. George, also chosen to start in 2014, clinched his third All-Star selection.
The 65th NBA All-Star Game will tip off on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the first All-Star Game to be held outside of the U.S.
Report: NBA All-Star Game Starters Announced
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and rising second-year stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young headline the star-studded group of present and future superstars who make up the starters for the 69th All-Star Game.
James, the catalyst for the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, will captain the Western Conference team for the second straight season. Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ star and reigning Kia MVP, captains the Eastern Conference team for a second straight season as well.
A fresh face in the starters’ mix this season is Dallas wunderkind Luka Doncic, who joins Houston’s James Harden as the two starters in the backcourt. Clippers forward and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Lakers forward Anthony Davis round out the All-L.A. frontcourt.
Boston’s Kemba Walker is joined by Atlanta’s Trae Young in the East backcourt. Like Doncic, Young is a first-time All-Star and starter in just his second NBA season. Antetokounmpo will be flanked by Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, another first time All-Star and starter, in the East frontcourt.
Adam Silver Believes Next Year’s ASG Draft Will be Televised
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was pleased with the new format for the league’s All-Star Game and believed that next year’s player draft would be televised.
“I thought it was incredible. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the players,” Silver told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne following a 148-145 win for Team LeBron over Team Stephen at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
2018 NBA All-Star Sunday Recap
Michael Petrower recaps the All-Star Game from Sunday in Los Angeles.
The 2018 NBA All Star Game had some added appeal this year, with Captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry selecting playground style from the pool of All-Stars. Although it was not televised, it drew a lot of interest to say the least.
Team Lebron was headlined by Kevin Durant (the alleged first pick), Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving. Sadly, Team Lebron suffered big losses with John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Kevin Love and Kristaps Porzingis going down with injuries. Team Stephen was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Joel Embiid and Demar DeRozan.
NBA fans were ready to indulge on the highlight real of plays to commence…That was, until the NBA inflicted a marathon-like performance that seemed a bit unnecessary, to say the least. Kevin Hart was at the center of theatrics that had NBA fans scratching their heads questioning what was on their television screen. Fergie topped off the saga with what was one of the more questionable national anthems we’ve seen in recent years. However, if you stuck around long enough, the game started at 8:40 PM EST and the flashy plays that we hoped for, began.
Joel Embiid made his first A;l-Star game appearance and kicked off the scoring festivities for Team Stephen with a ferocious and-one dunk. Team Stephen led all of the first quarter and won the quarter 42-31. Karl Anthony Towns led the first quarter scoring with 11 points. Team LeBron, however would storm back and cut the lead to two, 78-76 at half. LeBron came into his 14th straight All-Star game and lead his team at the half with 15 points. Klay Thompson also lead Team Stephen with 15 points at half.
The second half ensued and after some back and forth between the two teams, Team Stephen was leading by three going into the fourth quarter, 112-109. Team Stephen grew their lead to 11 while LeBron and KD got some rest. But after the two came back in, the 11-point deficit was erased after a LeBron three and the teams were now tied at 144 with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter.
DeRozan would make a free throw to put Team Stephen up one point, but Lebron followed with a strong two-pointer to put his team up one. DeRozan tried to answer, but threw away a pass which resulted in an easy two points for Russell Westbrook to ice the game. Team LeBron was the 2018 All Star Game winner with a score of 148-145.
LeBron James went on to win his third All Star MVP after finishing with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds, eigh assists and a steal on 12-17 shooting. DeRozan and Damian Lillard lead Team Stephen with 21 points each.