The 2023 NBA All-Star Game will take place in Salt Lake City this year and the voting for All-Star starters has already begun. Of course the Lakers have two prime candidates in LeBron James and Anthony Davis and both are in prime position already to be amongst the starters.
The NBA has released the first All-Star ballot returns and LeBron James leads all voting with over 3.1 million votes, while Anthony Davis is currently third amongst Western Conference frontcourt players with just over 2 million:
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead their respective conferences in the first fan returns of #NBAAllStar Voting presented by AT&T.
Fans account for 50% of the vote to decide All-Star starters. NBA players and a media panel account for 25% each.
The next fan update is Jan. 12. pic.twitter.com/osVeUGI8H4
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 5, 2023
LeBron has truly defied all logic with his performance in his 20th NBA season. James is averaging 29 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists and is coming off back-to-back 40-point performances since turning 38 years old. Considering his already vast popularity, the Lakers fans backing and his unreal play, LeBron leading all players in voting makes complete sense.
Davis is currently injured, but before he went down with that stress reaction in his foot, he was putting together his best stretch of play since the 2020 Championship run. Davis is averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals. The even better news is that Davis seems to be progressing well from his injury and could be back on the court for the Lakers sooner rather than later, which may be needed to hold off New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson who is around 150,000 votes behind.
Currently, the other member of the Western Conference frontcourt is back-to-back reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, who is putting together another unbelievable season for the NDenver uggets. The backcourt leaders are also no surprise with Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry leading the way, followed closely by Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.
The leading vote-getter in the East is Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, who is right on LeBron’s heels for most votes overall. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid are narrowly ahead of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum for the other two front court spots in the East. Nets guard Kyrie Irving and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell are leading the East backcourt after first returns.
Lakers’ Russell Westbrook and Austin Reaves rank top-10 in first ballot returns
A pair of Lakers guards also made an appearance on the first ballot returns as well with Russell Westbrook ranking sixth among West guards with over 448,000 votes. Second-year guard Austin Reaves came in at ninth with over 144,000 votes, just ahead of Warriors guard Jordan Poole.
Westbrook has thrived in his sixth-man role with the Lakers and is currently averaging 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Reaves, meanwhile, has made great strides in his second year and has become maybe the team’s most reliable role player with averages of 10.8 points and 3.1 rebounds.
As has been the case in the past few years, fan voting counts for 50% while players get 25% of the say and media get 25% in voting in the starters.
Fan voting will continue through Jan. 21 and can be done at NBA.com/vote.
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