Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James will be the captains in the 2023 All-Star Game

2023-01-27T10:45:37+00:00 2023-01-27T11:30:17+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

27/Jan/23 10:45

Both Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic will be starting for the Western Conference side

By Eurohoops Team/

The captains for the two Conference teams in the NBA All-Star Game are Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, who will headline the stage on February 19 in Salt Lake City.

The Chosen One will make his 19th NBA All-Star Game appearance and serve as a team captain for the 6th year in a row, while The Greek Freak will be playing as an All-Star for the 7th time in his career.

In the Eastern Conference team, Brooklyn Nets‘ Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Boston Celtics‘ Jayson Tatum, and Cleveland Cavaliers‘ Donovan Mitchell will join the Milwaukee  Bucks superstar.

In the Western Conference team, instead, the Europeans Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, and the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Zion Williamson will play next to LeBron James.

This is the sixth year the NBA has used the captain format for the All-Star Game; James has been a captain every time and has never lost, taking a 5-0 record into this year. Antetokounmpo is a captain for the third time, after also earning that right in 2019 and 2020.

James and Antetokounmpo will pick their teams shortly before the game in Salt Lake City, a newly announced twist and a departure from past years in which the captains picked a week or two in advance of All-Star weekend.

The big intrigue was the third East frontcourt spot, where Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid — No. 2 in the NBA’s scoring race entering Thursday at 33.4 points per game — was the odd man out after Antetokounmpo, Durant, and Tatum were the top three in the balloting.

Starters — three frontcourt players and two guards from each conference — were selected by a combination of three different votes: fan balloting counted for 50%, media balloting was worth 25% and voting by the NBA’s players made up the final 25%.

The reserves, which are chosen by votes from the league’s coaches, will be announced on Feb. 2. Among the players certain to merit strong consideration: Portland’s Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Miami’s Bam Adebayo.

Giannis over Pau Gasol

With his 7th selection, Giannis Antetokounmpo surpassed Spanish icon Pau Gasol who had six All-Star appearances in his career. Giannis is second on the list of the European players who had the most All-Star selections, trailing only the legendary Dirk Nowitzki who has a total of 14 All-Star Games under his belt.

French legend Tony Parker had six selections, while this is the 5th selection of Nikola Jokic and the 4th of Luka Doncic.

LeBron’s records

James is now tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most All-Star selections, and if James plays in Salt Lake City he will become the first player in NBA history to actually appear in 19 All-Star games. Abdul-Jabbar was selected for the 1973 game but did not play.

That’ll be just another entry on a long list of All-Star records for James. He’s the first player to be selected to 19 consecutive All-Star games — until Thursday, he shared that record with 18-time-selection Kobe Bryant, the Lakers legend who died Jan. 26, 2020, exactly three years to the date from Thursday.

If he actually starts, it’ll be James’ 19th time doing so, four more than anyone else in league history; Bryant made 15 starts. The 19 starts in a row extend another All-Star record; Bob Cousy has the second-longest such streak, having started 13 straight.

James also is the career All-Star leader in minutes, points, field goals made and field goals attempted.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images