LeBron James moved up to the top spot in the NBA All-Star Game voting second returns. The four-time NBA champion has raked in nearly 4.4 million votes, around 100,000 more than Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, who led after the first returns were released.
Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry kept his third place and joined the other two future Hall-of-Famers as the only players to receive more than four million votes.
Two other Los Angeles Lakers featured in the Western Conference’s top 10. Anthony Davis checked in fourth with 2.3 million votes and Alex Caruso placed 10th with 214,997 votes, making the list for the first time this season.
If the All-Star teams were decided now and by fan votes only, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic would join James among All-Star starters for the Western Conference.
Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal and Kyrie Irving would team up with Durant in the East.
Three Nets stars made the top three in the Eastern Conference as James Harden ranked third among the guards with 1.8 million votes. Three frontcourt players and two guards will be selected to the starting five in each conference.
However, fan votes will only account for 50% of the total results while players and selected members of the media will each decide 25% of the score.
The final standings will be unveiled on TNT on Thursday, Feb. 18. The network will also announce NBA All-Star Game reserves, selected by coaches, in the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 23.
NBA stars critical of 2021 All-Star Game
The NBA’s initial plan was to hold a break at the halftime mark of the 2020-21 season and give players a five-day breather. However, the league recently decided to hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta, having already moved the event away from Indianapolis, where it was originally set to take place.
The decision didn’t appeal to a slate of NBA stars including James, Antetokounmpo and Leonard. The Lakers leader said that he had “zero excitement and zero energy” for the All-Star Game after the NBA announced the change of plans.
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