With LeBron James finishing as the leading vote-getter and repeating as a team captain, the Los Angeles Lakers also had Lonzo Ball (961,488 votes; backcourt) and Kyle Kuzma (1,155,582; frontcourt) each rank eighth in the final fan voting for 2019 NBA All-Star Game starters.
From the first fan voting update to the announcement of the game’s starters and captains, Ball and Kuzma held at eighth place. They’ve both had stretches of strong play this season while also dealing with injury.
In Kuzma’s case, he missed just 2.5 games because of a lower back contusion. Kuzma dealt with lingering soreness upon returning and more recently hip trouble.
The situation is much more serious for Ball, who is projected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a Grade 3 sprained ankle. Ball’s injury came while the Lakers were without James and Rajon Rondo, placing further strain on their offense.
It’s not a likely scenario but possible Ball or Kuzma are named by NBA coaches as reserves for the All-Star Game, which will be revealed Thursday, Jan. 31, on TNT.
A more realistic option, mainly for Kuzma given that Ball is injured, is returning to the Rising Stars Challenge. He, Ball and Brandon Ingram were named to last year’s game; Ball was unable to participate due to injury.
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