With the year turned over to 2023, we're now hurtling toward the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 19. The NBA released the returns for the first round of fan voting on Thursday, and the names at the top are very familiar.
With over three million votes each, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets currently lead all players in total votes. They are the only players currently over three million votes, and they both sit at the top of the frontcourt results in their respective conferences (West for James, East for Durant).
James and Durant remain two of the most recognizable names in the sport, regardless of performance, so it's not surprising that early voting favors them. But as voting continues, they could be given a run for their money by fans of the talented players snapping at their heels.
The Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo is just 1,673 votes shy of three million, and he put up a career-high 55 points against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers has exploded after a slow start, and has helped his team win 11 of its last 13 games. Luka Doncic has been doing legitimately historic things for the Dallas Mavericks. Nikola Jokic continues to be Nikola Jokic (i.e. very, very good). The game has been so hot lately that it's like NBA players are the biggest, strongest boy at the neighborhood snowball fight, endlessly pelting their fans with amazing performances.
Voting for the NBA All-Star Game began on Dec. 20 and will end on Jan. 21. The fan vote accounts for 50% of a player's vote total, with 25% coming from the media and the final 25% coming from the players themselves.