Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has surged past Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and into the lead among all NBA players in All-Star voting ahead of polls closing Saturday night at midnight ET.
James, who trailed Curry in the first two rounds of voting, had 6.8 million votes in the third round of voting, which was released Thursday afternoon. Curry, meanwhile, was second among all players with just over 6 million votes.
By passing Curry, James is in line to be a captain for one of the two All-Star teams for a fifth straight year, dating back to the 2018 introduction of the new system that has the top vote-getter in each conference become a captain. For the second year in a row, he is likely to be joined in that role by Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who holds about a 380,000 vote lead over Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo for the top spot among Eastern Conference players.
While the fan vote is the only thing that determines who will be the captain of each team, the rest of the starters are determined based off a formula that includes the fan vote, which accounts for 50% of the total, as well as media and player voting, which each count for 25%.
Alongside James in the frontcourt is Nikola Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP, and Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who hasn’t made an All-Star Game before. Wiggins is followed by LA Clippers forward Paul George, Lakers forward Anthony Davis and Warriors forward Draymond Green.
Among Western Conference backcourt players, Curry is trailed by Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, who has opened up a sizable lead over Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic for the second backcourt spot.
In the East, Durant, Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid are virtual locks for the three starting spots in the frontcourt, while Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan has a massive lead for the top spot in the backcourt. He is followed by Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Nets guard James Harden.
The All-Star Game will be Feb. 19 in Cleveland. The starters, as well as the two captains, will be announced next Thursday night on TNT, while the reserves — who are selected by voting among coaches in both conferences — will be announced in early February.