Basketball

NBA Announces Starters for 2021 All-Star Game

The NBA has announced the 10 players who will be starting the 2021 NBA All-Star Game – which airs Mar. 7 on TNT – following the final voting returns from fans, players and media.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, widely considered to be the two best players in the league, will be the two captains of the All-Star Game after receiving the most total fan votes.

James and Durant will draft their teams from the All-Star player pool on Mar. 4.

LeBron will be playing in his 17th All-Star Game, the most among all active players and only two shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s long-standing record of 19 All-Star selections.

Durant is the only other starter with at least 10 All-Star selections, with this year being his 11th appearance. Furthermore, the Nets are the only team with two players starting in the All-Star Game, with Durant being joined by Kyrie Irving. Irving, who’s having the best season of his career, is making his seventh appearance.

Receiving his seventh All-Star nod is Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who’s averaging 30.2 points per game on .426 percent shooting from 3-point range from 3-point range in what’s been a comeback season for the two-time NBA MVP.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard both will be playing in their fifth All-Star Game, with at least one of the two present in the All-Star Game every season since 2015-16.

The NBA’s leading scorer with 32.7 points per game, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, will make his third All-Star appearance. Beal’s selection is particularly notable given that he was universally seen as an All-Star snub last season.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, averaging 29.8 points per game, will also start in the All-Star Game for his fourth appearance.

Embiid’s rival for the title of the best center in the NBA, Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, will be making his third All-Star Game appearance and his first as a starter.

However, the starter with the least All-Star experience is fellow Euro sensation Luka Doncic, who’s making his second appearance (in just his third year in the NBA). Doncic will now have started both All-Star Games he has taken place in.

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