The 2023 NBA All-Star Game returns to Salt Lake City for the first time since 1993 and features LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo as captains.
James, the leading vote-getter, will captain the Western Conference team while Antetokounmpo, the Eastern Conference voting leader, will lead the Eastern Conference.
James, who is a 19-time All-Star, ties Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most selections in league history. Antetokounmpo, the leading vote-getter in the Eastern Conference, will captain the other team.
The 2023 All-Star Game will feature the top players from both conferences, including Eastern Conference starters Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers), and Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), and Western Conference starters LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), and Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks).
In a new twist, James and Antetokounmpo will choose their teams shortly before the game, rather than a week or two in advance as in past years. The eight remaining starters are: Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, and Zion Williamson.
Mitchell, in a TNT report, said he is blessed and humbled to be a part of the All-Star Game. “To be a part of my fourth All-Star and now to be a starter, I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
Starters were selected through a combination of fan balloting (50%), media balloting (25%), and player voting (25%).
LeBron James is closing in on Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA career scoring record, with just 157 points separating him from the record of 38,387 points.
At his current scoring average of 29.9 points per game, James is expected to break the record before the All-Star break.
James, with his current scoring average of 29.9 points per game, is poised to break the record in just over five games, assuming no absences. He is on track to surpass Abdul-Jabbar’s record on February 7 in a home match against Oklahoma City.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that if James breaks the record before the All-Star break, the All-Star Game in Salt Lake City could be the perfect opportunity to honor him.
James will soon add another feather in his cap of All-Star records. He holds the distinction of being the first player selected to 19 consecutive All-Star games, a feat previously shared with Kobe Bryant, who was selected 18 times. However, after Thursday, James stands alone as the sole player with 19 consecutive selections, a milestone made even more poignant as it falls on the third anniversary of Bryant’s passing.
NBA coaches will vote for the reserve players, and the final list will be announced on February 2. They are considering Portland’s Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Boston’s Jaylen Brown, and Miami’s Bam Adebayo.