Despite many professionals claiming that the NBA All-Stars game should be cancelled this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the most vocal of all being LeBron James, it has been confirmed by the association that the fixture will go ahead after all. Although, there have been several changes to the plans. The game was supposed to take place in Indianapolis. However, it will now be held in Atalanta instead, meaning that the production crew, who are based in the state of Georgia, and so on don’t need to make the 500 mile-trip, whilst all the events will now take place in just one night, as opposed to the whole weekend as usual.
So, with Team LeBron leading the betting with sites like Betdaq before the player draft has even taken place, let’s take a look at the confirmed roster pools from both the Eastern and Western Conferences.
As opposed to the old-fashioned East vs West All-Star games, the starting players are now voted for by the fans, players and media, and on the basis of the polls, James has been named the captain from the Western Conference. The LA Lakers star will start the All-Star game for record-extending 17th consecutive year after being revealed as the leading vote-getter for the West, whilst he will be joined by frontcourt players Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets, who will be making his first start after being named on the reserves last year, and the LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, who will be starting for the fifth time in his career. The backcourt starters are the Golden State Warriors’ star Stephen Curry, who will make his seventh career start, and 21-year-old Slovenian Luka Dončić, who will be making his second appearance after just three years with the Dallas Mavericks.
The Brooklyn Nets’ small forward Kevin Durant was voted the captain from the Eastern Conference after gaining the most votes in the polls. The 32-year-old will be making his 11th career All-Star appearance at the State Farm Arena in Atalanta. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will feature in the All-Stars game for a career fifth time, and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, who will be making a fourth All-Stars appearance, will join him as the frontcourt players. Shooting guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, who at the time of writing is this season’s leading points scorer, will be making a third appearance, whilst Kyrie Irving will enjoy a seventh outing in the All-Stars game.
Western Conference Reserves
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Paul George (LA Clippers), Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) and Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), who replaced the injured Anthony Davis, were selected by the coaches for the Western Conference reserves.
Eastern Conference Reserves
Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), James Harden (Brooklyn Nets), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Julius Randle (New York Knicks), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) and Nikola Vučević (Orlando Magic) make up the reserve picks from the Eastern Conference.
James and Durant will pick their rosters on March 4th with no conference restrictions.