LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the front-runners to captain the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, the league announced on Thursday.
James leads all players with 4,747,887 votes, but Luka Doncic is right on his heels with 4,598,323. The highest vote-getter from the Eastern and Western Conference will be named team captain and given the right to pick their team regardless of conference affiliation.
Antetokounmpo (4,474,107) is virtually guaranteed to be a captain, with two million more votes than second-place Pascal Siakam (2,433,411). James will have to fend off a surging Doncic.
Anthony Davis (4,412,619) is the only other player with more than four million votes.
Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20. The 10 starters and two team captains will be announced on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 23, and the reserves will be announced on Jan. 30. Starters are picked from a combination of the fan (50%), media (25%) and player votes (25%). The 30 NBA head coaches will decide the 14 reserves.
Two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference are chosen as starters. Doncic and James Harden (2,934,614) are all but assured starting roles among Western Conference players, with the next highest vote total at 984,140 for Damian Lillard. Alex Caruso (894,827) and Russell Westbrook (837,187) round out the top-five.
James, Davis, and Leonard (2,973,076) have comfortable leads in the West’s frontcourt vote, with Paul George (1,171,616) a distant fourth.
Trae Young leads all Eastern Conference guards with 2,066,924 votes. The race for second is tight, with Kyrie Irving (1,814,618) and Kemba Walker (1,797,633) competing in a heavily contested race.
Antetokounmpo, Siakam and Joel Embiid (2,398,743) lead the East’s frontcourt vote. Jimmy Butler is a relatively distant fourth with 2,046,257 tallies.
James and Antetokounmpo were the captains in 2019. In 2018, the first iteration of this all-star game style saw James and Stephen Curry as captains.