LeBron and Antetokounmpo captains, Embiid snubbed … What to remember after the announcement of the owners
The NBA has announced the list of hosts for the All Star Game this Thursday, February 19 in Salt Lake City.
The people have spoken. In this case, the votes of the public (50% of the total votes), journalists (25%) and players (25%) were collected to determine the owners of the All Star Game 2023 this Thursday, February 19, 2023. in Salt Lake City. LeBron James (West, LA Lakers) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (West, Milwaukee) will serve as captains for Utah, the players with the most public votes, 7,418,116 and 6,761,032, respectively. They will have the difficult task of assigning their teammates to a day during the first-ever pre-match draft. As always, the coaches will be consulted to determine the replacements. The list will be announced next Thursday.
In addition to “King James” and “The Greek Freak”, the incumbents are Nikola Jokic (Denver), Zion Williams (New Orleans), Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Luka Doncic (Dallas) and Kevin Durant (Brooklyn) in the West, Jayson Tatum ( Boston), Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland) and Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn), East. Here are the key takeaways from the announcement of this list of All Star Game winners.
LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, same fight
It’s been six years since the NBA adopted this format, with the captain being chosen by a public vote. For six years, LeBron James has been admired by fans of the big orange ball. More importantly, the four-time NBA champion will honor his 19th All Star Game selection on January 19. The record was equaled. Until now, only his predecessor in LA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, has reached this number. A symbol of Akron (Ohio)’s extraordinary longevity, he averaged 29.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7 assists with the Lakers. Obviously, this isn’t the last time LeBron and Kareem will be quoted in the same sentence. It’s only a matter of time before the former doubles the latter and thus becomes the leading scorer in NBA history. It should be noted that Giannis Antetokounmpo is the captain for the third time after 2019 and 2020 with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
Joel Embiid, the forgotten director
With over 33 points and an average of almost 10 rebounds, Joel Embiid has become super again since the beginning of the season. He is one of the contenders for the title of MVP. Plus, “his” 76 teams are currently second in the Eastern Conference standings (31v-16d). However, the Cameroonian pivot misses the cut. In addition, three title frontcourts deserve their place, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Duran and Jayson Tatum. In the end, the Franco-Cameroonian finished third in player and journalist votes, but behind Tatum in fourth (4,900,482 to 5,221,720). That’s what makes the difference.
For the rest, Zion Williams, with 26 points, 7 rebounds and an average of 4.6 assists, has the stats to claim that spot with Jokic and LeBron undisputed in the West. But he only played 29 games and we haven’t seen him on the court since January 3rd… Anthony Davis (LA Lakers) also missed a lot of games. Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento) may feel nervous. For the rest, the competition was too strong for Ja Morant (Memphis) against the Curry / Doncic tandem. In the East, guys like Jaylen Brown (Boston), James Harden (Philadelphia) and even Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana) could imagine themselves on the right wagon. They will wait until next week.
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French of course
A French owner in the All Star Game? Not for this time. Victor Vembanyama will probably hold that honor for years to come… Only three Blues have had the honor of playing in an all-star game so far, with replacements coming off the bench: Tony Parker, Joakim Noah and Rudy Gobert, who have appeared in the last three editions. The three-time best defenseman of the League, who was transferred to Minnesota last summer, is also the Frenchman who got the most votes this year. 12th among players, 22nd among the public (132,465 votes) and 9th among reporters among Western Conference interiors. To see if France’s first team will be favored by the coaches for the fourth substitute spot in the All Star Game. I’m not sure… I’m not sure. Still, Gobert was unremarkable for a top-five spot. And still, it was the best of the French… A few votes here and there for Piston Killian Hayes, in better form than he’s shown on the Bercy boards in recent days (33rd among players in the East among backs, 45th in the public with 8,408 votes).
Donovan Mitchell and Sion Williamson, premiere!
There are no neophytes on this list of All-Stars. 10 players have already been invited to the All-Star game in the past. It’s the fourth time in a row for Donovan Mitchell, but the first time he’s part of the owners. The former Jazz player has been perfect at plying his trade in Ohio, averaging 28.3 points, 4 rebounds and 4.8 assists. A first in the top five for Sion Williamson as well. Jayson Tatum? He started at five last year, but that was only because of Kevin Durant’s withdrawal.
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Kevin Durant, never two without three?
After an MVP-worthy season averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists, 39 games in, Kevin Durant could miss the All-Star Game. The 34-year-old winger is out for at least two weeks with a knee injury. It was the third year in a row that he had missed the party! His last All Star Game was in 2019. Remember that Adam Silver is responsible for assigning replacements in the event of forfeiture. Zion Williamson, who has been out since early January, is also doubtful for a star game.