Next month, two Sundays after the NFL’s Super Bowl LII championship between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles is decided, the National Basketball Association will kick off their All-Star game for 2018. Attention has been drawn to this exhibition match-up due to it being the first time the NBA will be adapting a draft-style format to assemble the two competing teams representing the Western and Eastern Conferences. Voting on the rosters was done by a combination of fan votes, a media panel and the NBA players themselves. The results have gone in, revealing the top Conference players and captains of their respective teams.
ESPN has it that the topmost voted Conference All-Star players, and therefore the team captains, are none other than Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James (F) for the East and Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry (G) for the West. The announcement was done last Friday, January 19, by the NBA, along with the All-Star starting lineups for the Conference teams.
Joining LeBron as starters for the Eastern Conference are Boston Celtic Kyrie Irving (G), Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan (G), Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid (C), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (F/G) from the Milwaukee Bucks. Curry’s starting posse for the Western Conference is composed of fellow Guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant (F), and two New Orleans Pelicans in DeMarcus Cousins (C) and Anthony Davis (F/C).
The makeup of the All-Star teams for this year is a departure from the original, strictly East vs. West Conference format. Following the draft-style format utilized by the NFL for their 2014-16 Pro Bowl games and the 2011-2015 NHL All-Stars, the NBA placed the power on three voter bases to build up the 2018 teams. First are the league fans themselves contributing 50% of the vote, plus representatives of the media and the active NBA players deciding who they want to play with; the latter two both have 25% each to total a 100% vote. This alteration was done in the wake of the poor performance and fan reception for the last two All-Star Games, where Team West won handily (with nearly 200 points final) due to the players abandoning all serious attempts at defense.
As the chosen captains for the All-Star teams, James and Curry have the power to select their teammates to build up the All-Star rosters, and they can pick players regardless of conference affiliation. While the first five for each team has been decided, the full lineups, which include seven substitutes to a full 12-man roster each, will be revealed by January 25. The 2018 NBA All-Star Game itself will take place on February 18 Sunday, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports