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LeBron, Giannis named NBA All-Star captains

James, who has not played since Christmas Day while nursing a groin injury, and Antetokounmpo will pick their own teams on February 7 in a draft airing live on TNT.

As the top vote-getter among fans (4.6 million), James will pick first and the two will alternate picks until the other eight starters have been selected. Antetokounmpo (4.4 million) will have the first choice of the second round, when the captains pick players named to the All-Star Game as reserves.

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The starters were chosen through a mix of voting from the fans (50 per cent), players (25 per cent) and media (25 per cent), with fan votes serving as the tiebreaker.

The media ranked Simmons the third-best East guard, fans had him in fourth, while players had the Australian fifth. The 22-year-old is still in the mix to become Australia’s first ever NBA All-Star when the reserves are revealed.

The reserves – seven from each conference, selected by NBA head coaches – will be announced next Friday (AEDT).

George won a tie-breaker for the West’s third frontcourt starting spot over New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, who finished third on the players’ and media’s ballots but fifth in the fan vote.

George was ranked fourth by the fans, players and media.

Popular: Curry (right) and Durant have been named starters once again.

Popular: Curry (right) and Durant have been named starters once again.Credit:AP

James was also the top overall vote-getter last year, the first year of the draft system, while Curry opposed him after leading the West. Last year’s draft was not televised.

Curry and Irving finished as the top vote-getters among guards in their respective conferences, as both approached 3.9 million votes.

Each of the West’s starters have been named an All-Star at least six times, led by James with 15 selections. The East starters’ resumes are less decorated, with Irving (six selections) leading the way and Antetokounmpo, Leonard and Walker making their third All-Star appearances. Embiid will be in his second All-Star Game.

Three players who finished second at their positions in the fan vote failed to crack the starting line-ups.

Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic – second among Western Conference frontcourt players – ranked eighth on the players’ ballots and sixth by the media.

Likewise, the second-ranked guards in each conference – Minnesota’s Derrick Rose and the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade – missed out. Rose ranked fourth on the players’ ballots and sixth on the media’s, while Wade ranked sixth on both.

The All-Star Game will be held February 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Reuters

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