The people have spoken and LeBron James from the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets received the most fan votes to be named captains of the 2022 NBA All-Star Game slated for Thursday, Feb. 10 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. Ja Morant and Andrew Wiggins were named to the All-Star Game for the first time.
The NBA began using captains to pick sides five seasons ago, and LeBron has been a captain every time. Durant became a first-time captain last season with the top votes from the Eastern Conference.
Durant has been nursing a sprained knee and won’t play in the All-Star Game this year, but he still has strong opinions on how he’ll fill out his roster. LeBron will play in his 18th All-Star Game, which tied the late Kobe Bryant. He trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who holds the NBA record with 19 All-Star appearances.
The reserves in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game will be announced next Thursday. Those players are selected by coaches. Once all the reserve players are officially announced, LeBron and Durant will draft their teams. It’s no longer an East vs. West battle, but the squads are mixed together.
Eastern Conference starters
Durant will lead the Eastern Conference in his 12th All-Star appearance. The other four starters from the Eastern Conference include Trae Young from the Atlanta Hawks, DeMar DeRozan from the Chicago Bulls, Joel Embiid from the Philadelphia 76ers, and Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks.
DeRozan earned his fifth trip to the All-Star Game. He leads the Chicago Bulls in scoring this season with 26.4 ppg and he’s one of the main reasons the Bulls were at the top of the standings for most of this season. Young is now a two-time All-Star who’s relished his role as a villain after the Hawks knocked the Knicks out of the playoffs last year.
Embiid heads to All-Star Weekend for the fifth season in a row. He’s one of the hottest players in the NBA right now, averaging 28.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. His PER rating of 31.80 is ranked #2 in the league. This marks a sixth-consecutive trip to the All-Star game for Antetokounmpo. He’s averaging 28.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists this season for the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks.
— NBA (@NBA) January 28, 2022
Western Conference starters
LeBron James leads the Western Conference All-Stars, who also include Ja Morant from the Memphis Grizzlies, Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors, Andrew Wiggins from the Warriors, and Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets.
This marks eight All-Star Games for Curry, but his teammate’s inclusion is what everyone is talking about. Wiggins had a great first half of the season, but earned the least amount of votes among players and media. The fans put him over the top.
“It was mind blowing,” said Wiggins. “I thought I was dreaming for a second.”
“One of the proudest moments just to see what Wiggs has done since he got here a couple of years go,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “The journey he has traveled has been rocky at times, and to see how hard he’s worked and to see all the work rewarded, just could not be happier for him.”
Morant earned his first trip to the NBA All-Star Game and as a starter too. The high-flying and electrifying Morant averages 25.8 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game with the Grizzlies this season. We pegged Morant as our MVP in Online Gambling’s NBA Midseason Awards, so it’s cool to see him get recognition from the fans and his peers with his first All-Star selection.
Jokic is the NBA’s reigning MVP and this marks his fifth All-Star Game inclusion. The Joker has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Denver Nuggets without Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr. Jokic leads the NBA with a 33.20 PER rating. He averages 26.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per game.
— NBA (@NBA) January 28, 2022