06 Jan

Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James lead first round of fan voting returns

The NBA released the first round of fan voting returns for the 2024 All-Star Game on Thursday, and a pair of familiar names are atop the list. Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo holds the overall lead with 2,171,812 votes, while Los Angeles Lakers legend LeBron James is on top in the Western Conference at 2,008,645 votes.

For the past six years, the league used a captain’s picks format for the event, with the top vote-getter in each conference earning the right to be captain. In three of those six years, it was Team James versus Team Antetokounmpo. We would be on pace for the fourth such matchup, but the league decided to revert to the traditional East vs. West showdown this year.

Still, leading the fan vote is a significant accomplishment and puts both superstars en route to starting nods. The 10 starters are determined by a weighted voting system that includes fans, media and fellow players. There is a 50% weight attributed to the fan results, while the media and player votes each receive a 25% weight.

Fan voting opened on Dec. 19 and will run through Jan. 20, with the All-Star starters officially announced on Jan. 25. Here’s a look at how things stand so far:

The first EAST returns for #NBAAllStar 2024! Who do you think should be in Indy? ⭐️

Make your picks with #NBAAllStar Voting presented by @ATT on the NBA App and https://t.co/Pqxh2EPubW!

🗳️ https://t.co/nn56dQ564R pic.twitter.com/gHfAsfoA5T

— NBA (@NBA) January 4, 2024
The first WEST returns for #NBAAllStar 2024! Which name stands out to you? 👀#NBAAllStar Voting presented by @ATT continues through January 20 on the NBA App and https://t.co/Pqxh2EPubW!

➡️ https://t.co/nn56dQ564R pic.twitter.com/EMx6shg26s

— NBA (@NBA) January 4, 2024
There aren’t many surprises here. Antetokounmpo, reigning MVP Joel Embiid and Jayson Tatum have a significant lead over the rest of the pack in the East frontcourt, while Tyrese Haliburton’s breakout campaign has earned him the most guard votes in that conference. Damian Lillard checks in at the No. 2 spot, closely followed by Trae Young.

Out West, it’s a similar story, as James, followed by Kevin Durant and reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic have pulled away from the rest of the frontcourt contenders. Meanwhile, Luka Doncic and Steph Curry are the clear leaders in the backcourt. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the clear loser here, as he doesn’t have the fanbase to contend with either Doncic or Curry.

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The 2024 NBA All-Star Weekend is set for Feb. 16-18 in Indianapolis, which is hosting the showcase for the first time since 1985. The All-Star Game will close the show on Sunday, Feb. 18, with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

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