James, ‘Ante’ top early All-Star Game totals

LeBron James
LeBron James

NEW YORK (AFP) - Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James and Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo led the first fan balloting updates announced Thursday for next month’s NBA All-Star Game.

Los Angeles Lakers star playmaker James received the most votes with 1,083,363 to pace the Western Conference frontcourt while Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo led the Eastern Conference with 991,561 votes in the first fan ballot returns.

Voting continues through January 21 with fan ballots counting 50 percent, current NBA players counting 25 percent and a media panel counting 25 percent to determining the 10 starters for the 68th NBA All-Star Game on February 17 at Charlotte, North Carolina.

All-Star Game starters and captains will be revealed January 24. Reserves will be revealed one week later.

This year’s all-star contest will follow last year’s format with two team captains — the All-Stars who lead their conference — each selecting rosters from pools of starters and reserve players regardless of conference affiliation.

James, a 14-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA All-Star Most Valuable Player, was followed in the West front line by Slovenian 19-year-old swingman Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks on 679,839 and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant with 659,968.

Chasing a starting berth were New Orleans star big man Anthony Davis at 605,417 and Oklahoma City’s Paul George on 580,055 with New Zealand center Steven Adams of Oklahoma City next on 261,327.