In a new NBA All-Star Game format, fans have chosen LeBron James and Stephen Curry as team captains for this year’s game. Perhaps inspired by the gross inequality of talent between the two conferences, the captains will choose from a pool of starters as also chosen by the fans and their reserves regardless of conference affiliation.
The Eastern Conference starters are James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, and DeMar DeRozan. Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins were voted starters for the West.
Last year, the big storyline was Russell Westbrook and Durant having to play together again after a rough breakup with the latter’s departure from OKC to the Warriors. This year, a similar storyline surrounds the Eastern Conference as many will likely be watching to see if James chooses former teammate Kyrie Irving for his team. Irving requested the trade this offseason, wanting the opportunity to lead a team of his own, away from the tutelage and dominance of King James. Irving’s Celtics currently sit atop the Eastern Conference with a seven-game lead over the third place Cavaliers.
The All-Star Game will be held on February 18th in Los Angeles, and will include the traditional fanfare, including the popular Dunk Contest. Possible contestants include rookies Dennis Smith Jr., Donovan Mitchell, and Jordan Bell, amongst many others.