The starters for the 62nd NBA All-Star Game were announced last night during TNT’s Thursday double header. Outside of Jeremy Lin not getting voted into the starting lineup, there are no surprises among this year’s ASG starters. Kobe Bryant led all vote-getters with about 1.59 million, beating LeBron James by just a hair. James racked up 1.58 million votes. Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony rounded out the top four with 1.50 million and 1.46 million respectively.
The game’s starters, their vote totals, and their teams break down as follows:
Western Conference Starters: PG Chris Paul (929,155 LA Clippers), SG Kobe Bryant (1,591,437 LA Lakers), SF Kevin Durant (1,504,047 Oklahoma City Thunder), PF Blake Griffin (863,832 LA Clippers), C Dwight Howard (922,070 LA Lakers)
Eastern Conference Starters: PG Rajon Rondo (924,180 Boston Celtics), SG Dwyane Wade (1,052,310 Miami Heat), SF LeBron James (1,583,646 Miami Heat), PF Carmelo Anthony (1,460,950 New York Knicks), C Kevin Garnett (553,222 Boston Celtics)
Kobe’s selection marks his 15th consecutive trip to the All Star Game, putting him ahead of Karl Malone, Jerry West, and Shaq who were all selected to 14 consecutive games. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 19 selections is the record, a record that Kobe is likely to break considering he probably won’t ever stop playing professional basketball.
All-Star reserves will be announced on January 24th. LaMarcus Aldridge, whose 160,197 votes ranked him below a lot of guys including Tim Duncan, Omer Asik, and David Lee, but above Marc Gasol, has a good to decent shot at getting in as a reserve. LA is 8th in points per game in the league. Four of the guys ahead of him on the list (LeBron, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant in ascending order) are ASG starters, and the guys in the five, six, and seven spots (James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Russell Westbrook in descending order) are basically shoo-ins. Kyrie, for some strange reason, is a bubble prospect.
The NBA is a scoring league. LA’s scoring numbers should be good enough to get him in the game. Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard are the other Blazers getting mentioned in the All Star Game conversation. Dame will be in the rookie game, there’s no doubt about that, and should dominate that. Both Nic and Damian should be included in the three-point shootout. Both guys deserve to make the All Star Game at some point in their respective careers. This season, though, they aren’t going to make the cut.
The All Star Game will take place in Houston on Sunday February 17th, and will be broadcast on TNT.