Antetokounmpo Leads the East in Votes for All-Star Game

FILE - Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after a dunk during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 123-115. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

NEW YORK – The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Eastern Conference in votes so far for the NBA All-Star Game. The first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2019 presented by Google, also show Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James leading the Western Conference and overall voting while Antetokounmpo is second overall in total votes, according to an NBA news release.

Fans account for 50 percent of the vote to determine the ten starters for the 68th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC, on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 PM ET on TNT.

All current NBA players and a media panel each account for 25 percent of the vote, with every voter completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference. Voting for fans, players and media will conclude on Monday, Jan. 21 at 11:59 PM ET.

Antetokounmpo, an NBA All-Star in each of the previous two seasons, is the top vote-getter among all Eastern Conference players, receiving 991,561 votes in the frontcourt group. Joining Antetokounmpo at the top of the East frontcourt are second-place Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors (774,172) and third-place Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (648,002).

In the East guard group, the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving leads with 910,329 votes. The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade is the second-leading guard with 409,156 votes, while the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker (319,519) ranks third and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons (259,993) is fourth.

James, a 14-time NBA All-Star and three-time Kia NBA All-Star Most Valuable Player, leads all players with 1,083,363 votes to earn the top spot in the Western Conference frontcourt in the first fan returns. Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Dončić ranks second in the West frontcourt with 679,839 votes, followed closely by the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant (659,968). The New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (605,417) and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George (580,055) round out the top five in that position group.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry holds first place among West guards with 793,111 votes. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Derrick Rose is second with 698,086 votes. The Houston Rockets’ James Harden (541,606) and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (459,792) are third and fourth, respectively, among West guards.

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will follow last year’s format: The two team captains will draft rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference, making their picks regardless of conference affiliation. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference. Details about the NBA All-Star Draft will be announced at a later date.

TNT will reveal the NBA All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 24 during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith.

The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Thursday, Jan. 31 during TNT NBA Tip-Off.

More information is available online: nba.com.

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