LeBron James is getting close to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA career scoring record. And now, Abdul-Jabbar has nabbed another page of the All-Stars book.
James was announced Thursday as an NBA All-Star for the 19th time, as the Los Angeles Lakers star tied Abdul-Jabbar for the most selections in league history. James — the overall vote-getter — will be the captain of one of the teams for the All-Star Game on Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City, while Eastern Conference voting leader Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will be the captain of the other.
• 2023 NBA All-Stars | All-star list
Eastern Conference starters
- Giannis Antetekounmo (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
- Jason Tatum (Boston Celtics)
- Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)
Western Conference starters
- LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
- Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
- Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
This is the sixth year that the NBA has used the captaincy format for the All-Star Game. James has been a leader every time and never lost, posting a 5-0 record this year. Antetokounmpo is captain for the third time, having also earned this right in 2019 and 2020.
Will James and Antitokonmo choose their teams Shortly before the game in Salt Lake City, a new twist and departure from past years was announced as the leaders picked a week or two before the weekend.
The other eight players they will choose from, barring any changes due to injury beforehand, are: Denver two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, Dallas’ Luka Doncic, the NBA’s leading scorer, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Jason Tatum From Boston, Brooklyn teammates. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell from Cleveland, and Zion Williamson from New Orleans.
“I am definitely lucky and humbled to be a part of this,” Mitchell said during the debutant’s televised announcement on TNT. “To be a part of my fourth All-Star team and now to be a starter, I couldn’t be happier.”
The big intrigue was the third on the East frontcourt, with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid — No. 2 in the NBA scoring race going into Thursday at 33.4 points a game — the odd man out after Antetokounmpo, Durant and Tatum in the top three. in polling.
The starters—three frontcourt players and two guards from each conference—were chosen by a combination of three different votes: fan voting accounted for 50%, media polling accounted for 25% and voting by NBA players accounted for the final 25%.
The reserves, which are chosen by votes from the league’s coaches, will be announced on February 2. Players who are sure to deserve strong consideration include Portland’s Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City’s Shay Gilgos Alexander, Boston’s Jalen Brown and Miami’s Bam Adebayo.
James is 157 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s career, recording 38,387 points. With his current average of 29.9 points per game, James will need just over five games to break the record — and if he doesn’t miss a game in the meantime, he’ll be well on his way to passing Abdul-Jabbar on February 7. Home game against Oklahoma City.
the #Nabaa _ Al-Sattar Western Conference entrees:
^ LeBron James
⭐️ Nikola Jokic
⭐️ Luka Doncic
^ Zion Williamson
⭐️ Steve Curry pic.twitter.com/3m6IER1Og1
– NBA on TNT (NBAonTNT) January 27, 2023
the #Nabaa _ Al-Sattar Eastern Conference Freshmen:
^ Giannis Antitekounmo
^ Kevin Durant
^ Donovan Mitchell
^ Jason Tatum
⭐️ Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/B2UDisxSv2
– NBA on TNT (NBAonTNT) January 27, 2023
This means that the All-Star weekend, should James previously surpass the record, could be a celebration of breaking the record that Abdul-Jabbar has held for nearly 40 years.
“In calculating when that might happen, it seems at this point likely to happen before our All-Star break,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said last week in Paris. “If it happens before the All-Star break, it looks like this year’s All-Star Game, which will be held in Salt Lake City, might be the perfect opportunity to honor him.”
James is now tied with Abdul-Jabbar for the most All-Star selections, and if James played for Salt Lake City, he would become the first player in NBA history to actually appear in 19 All-Star games. Abdul-Jabbar was selected for the 1973 match, but did not play.
This would be just another entry in James’ long list of All-Star records. He’s the first player to be selected to 19 consecutive All-Star appearances — as of Thursday, he shares that record with 18-time selection Kobe Bryant, a Lakers legend who passed away on January 26, 2020, exactly three years to Thursday’s date. .
If he does start, it will be the 19th time James has done so, four more in league history; Bryant made 15 starts. 19th consecutive starts and extends to another All-Star record; Bob Cousy has the second longest such streak, having started 13 in a row.
James is also the career All-Star leader in minutes, points, and field goals made and field goals.
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