The votes are in and the official NBA All Star Roster was announced last week! Well, the starters anyway. NBA All Star Weekend will go down at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina February 15th through 17th. Wanna go? We’ve got tickets to all the weekend’s NBA festivities, including the celebrity game, media day and practice, All Star Saturday Night, and of course, Sunday’s All Star game.
Did your favorite NBA players make the cut?
The Captains and Obvious Faves
In not-so-surprising news, the Lakers’ Lebron James and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains with the most fan votes from their respective conferences. All Star player selections are determined by a mix of votes from fans (weighted 50%), NBA players (25%), and media (25%). On February 7th, we get to watch James and Antetokounmpo conduct a playground-style draft to select players for their teams! You can catch it on TNT at 7 PM EST. Since he finished with the most fan votes, James gets the first pick, Antetokounmpo gets second, and it goes back and forth from there. You remember kickball in fourth grade, right? It’s exactly like that.
As far as the final NBA All Star Game roster goes, there are the starters and then there are the reserves. Unlike the NFL Pro Bowl teams, conferences don’t matter. This is going to be Team Lebron versus Team Giannis. The captains will get to choose without regard to East or West affiliation, beginning with the eight remaining starters in the first round and the 14 reserves in the second.
Lots of big-name favorites have been named as starters. From the West, you’ve got stars like James Harden, Steph Curry, Paul George, and Kevin Durant who’ll be playing in his 10th consecutive All Star Game. From the East, there’s Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker. NBA coaches will get to vote to determine the reserves and we’ll learn who they are on January 31st (also via TNT).
This will be Lebron’s 15th All Star game. He’s now tied for the NBA record with Kobe Bryant. It’s Antetokounmpo’s third All Star game and the second time he’s been the number-two fan favorite.
Who Got Snubbed?
Fans voted heavily for Dwyane Wade – who ranked as their second-favorite in the backcourt for the East – and Derrick Rose – nabbing the second-most votes for guards for the West – but it looks like the media and players overruled them, so no, they won’t receive a starting position. And rightfully so, as these guys aren’t exactly All Star caliber players at this point in their careers. This is the perfect example of why the NBA made the decision to give a vote to sources other than the fans – to keep things in check! Understandably, fans are sentimental and they’ve got their favorites, but Rose isn’t even a starter for the Timberwolves and this is Wade’s farewell season. This way, we get a better quality game overall.
Star rookie Luka Doncic got the second-most votes (after only Lebron) in the West, but he still wasn’t named a starter. Bradley Beal and Victor Oladipo were also popular options for guards, but the Hornets’ Kemba Walker beat them out. This will be Walker’s first time as a starting All Star player and his second trip to the game. He’s pumped about making his debut, particularly in his hometown arena in Charlotte.
Don’t count any of these other guys out yet though! Just because they’re not starting doesn’t mean the coaches won’t select them to be on the final All Star roster as a reserve player.
For one guy, it’s a dream come true. A disbelieving Doncic said, “Everything is happening so quickly. I was just dreaming, when I was young, to be in the NBA league. And now, to see the All-Star votes, it’s just, I don’t know what to say, amazing for me.” If given the nod by the coaches, at 19 years old, Doncic would be the youngest Mavs player ever to be named as an All Star.
Other snubs? (Based strictly on stats and how good of a player they are, rather than, say, charisma, sentimentality, or star power, of course.) The folks at Bleacher Report say the 76ers’ Ben Simmons, the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic, the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (obviously), the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, and the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert should’ve been given a shot. And FYI, Paul George beat out Anthony Davis for that starting spot via a fan vote tiebreaker.
So who do you think missed out? And will they make the cut as a reserve? Be sure to tune in and watch! Better yet, if you want to go see some of the best athletes in the world out on the court together, get your tickets for the NBA All Star weekend events in Charlotte! We’ve got ’em!
Getting pumped for the NBA All Star Game? Who should make the final teams?