Forwards LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo repeated as captains for next month's NBA All-Star Game, the league announced Thursday, with the NBA also revealing the 10 players who will start.
The All-Star Game will pit Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis on Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago. As captains of the teams, both James and Antetokounmpo will get to select their own teams regardless of conference or team affiliation, with the televised draft occurring on Feb. 6.
Joining James, who moved into third place all-time among career All-Star selections with 16, among frontcourt starters named from Western Conference teams are his Lakers teammate Anthony Davis (seventh All-Star berth) and L.A. Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (fourth). The starting guards from the West are Houston Rockets eight-time All-Star James Harden and the 20-year-old Doncic (first) of the Dallas Mavericks.
Among Eastern Conference starters, Antetokounmpo is accompanied by frontcourt members Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (third All-Star appearance) and the Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam (first). The East guards who will start are Kemba Walker (fourth) of the Boston Celtics and Trae Young (first) of the Atlanta Hawks.
James, who has helped the Los Angeles Lakers to the best record in basketball (35-9 entering Thursday), held off a charge from the second-year phenom Doncic as the top vote-getter by fans in the Western Conference.
It marks the third straight year that James, averaging 25.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and an NBA-best 10.8 assists per game this season, has led all players in All-Star votes. The only players who have received more All-Star selections than James are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) and Kobe Bryant (18).
With his 16th start, James will top the mark he currently shares with Bryant.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks star and reigning NBA MVP Antetokounmpo topped all Eastern Conference players among fan votes. Antetokounmpo ranks second in the league in scoring (30.0 points per game) and is tied for fifth in rebounds (12.9 per game).
Fans account for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10 starters. All current NBA players and a media panel each account for 25 percent of the vote, with every voter completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference.
The All-Star reserves will be announced on Jan. 30.
--Field Level Media