NBA All-Star Voting

Koen Samuel, Assistant Editor

The NBA season is just about at the halfway mark, which means that right now votes are being cast for the 2020 All-Star game in Chicago. As many fans know, the All-Star game is more of a popularity contest. This will be the third year in the new format, where the player from each conference with the highest number of votes becomes team captain and selects their teammates in a draft-like process. Voting this year has given fans some surprises, such as Luka Doncic topping LeBron James in the first returns and the inclusion of faces, both old and new alike.

In the Eastern Conference, it’s no surprise that Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo leads voting with his stat line of 30 ppg and 6 asg, which has been good enough to get the Bucks the top spot in their conference. The east has seen an emergence of better players, such as Pascal Siakam and Trae Young, who leads voting among backcourt players. However, less than 50 percent of players have more than a million votes, which is better than the star studded west. 

In the Western Conference, after being second in voting, Lakers forward LeBron James has now risen to the top of voting with almost five million votes. Following in second is Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who has enjoyed a stellar year. It’s no surprise that James is leading voting, due to the fact that he’s been the leading vote getter several times and he has a large fanbase around the league, not just in Los Angeles. Also toward the top in voting in Los Angeles is James’ teammate Anthony Davis, who is enjoying a wonderful first season in the city of angels. It’s going to be interesting if they’ll suit up with or against each other for the All-Star game. 

On the other side of L.A., the Clippers duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sit third and fourth in front court players respectively, behind city rivals James and Davis.

Fans have seen the emergence of new faces on the list, such as Raptors guard Fred Van Fleet and Pelicans star forward Brandon Ingram. 

But the second voting return shows that the vote is centered on popularity among fans. Despite playing four games, Warriors guard Steph Curry sits sixth in front court players and his first return to the court from injury could be for the All-Star game.

In a surprise to many fans, the Lakers’ bench duo of Alex Caruso, who sits fourth among Western Conference guards, and Dwight Howard have made the list. While the latter is an eighth time all-star, he probably won’t be on the roster barring a surge of votes. However, it’s a testament to Caruso’s improvement and Howard’s role reformation in a new chapter of his career. It is also worth noting that Howard will also be making a return to the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, so fans will get to see him in some capacity. 

 This year’s All-Star game will truly be a hit. With the new format making the game itself more competitive and the fusion of players both older and younger, this might be the best game yet.