Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James will captain the two teams in this year’s NBA All-Star Game. James led all vote-getters with 6,275,459 narrowly beating out Dallas star Luka Doncic who finished with 6,111,735 for the West captain role.
Both James and Antetokounmpo will start for their respective teams. The East pool of starters includes Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Trae Young, and Kemba Walker. In the West, the starters in addition to James will come from James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and Doncic.
Doncic could team up with James should the veteran decide to select the second-year Mavericks star with one of his captain selections. Doncic will be the sixth-youngest player to ever start an NBA All-Star game. James was just 19 when he started his first.
This will be the 16th all-star game for James who now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) and Kobe Bryant (18). Bryant was selected to 18 all-star games, but only played in 15 due to injury. That leaves James’ 16 ASG appearances second behind Abdul-Jabbar.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will coach the West team. James and Davis will start for the West and teammate Dwight Howard is also involved in the All-Star game’s weekend festivities.
The East coach has not yet been announced. Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer coached the team last year and is ineligible to do so again this season. The coach of Team Giannis will be the head coach of the NBA team with the best record in the Eastern Conference through Feb. 2, not counting Milwaukee.
Currently, Miami (31-13) has the East’s second-best record with Toronto (30-14) one game behind and Boston (29-14) two games behind. If the Heat hold on, Erik Spoelstra would be the head coach for Team Giannis.