As an All-Star Game captain, LeBron James will return to Cleveland, while Ja Morant and Andrew Wiggins will be making their debut appearance. The other players selected as starters from the Western Conference on Thursday, included reigning Kia MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and Warriors superstar Stephen Curry. The frontcourt starters from the East were Kevin Durant of Brooklyn, Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee, and Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, as well as Trae Young of Atlanta and DeMar DeRozan of Chicago.
Western Conference Starters: 2022 NBA All-Star
- LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
- Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors)
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
Eastern Conference Starters: 2022 NBA All-Star
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
- DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
As the top vote-getters in each conference, James and Durant will be the captains who choose players for the Feb. 20 game in Cleveland.
James, who joined the Cavaliers in 2003 and led them to the 2016 NBA championship during his second stay, was named an All-Star for the 18th time in a row. He’s been a captain every year since the league ditched the East vs. West system.
Durant’s participation in the game is in question due to a damaged knee ligament. He was chosen as a starter for the tenth time, while Bucks forward Antetokounmpo was chosen for the sixth time in a row, matching Kareem Abdul-team Jabbar’s record.
Embiid was selected as a starter for the fifth consecutive season, the longest stretch by a 76ers player since Allen Iverson was picked seven times in a row from 2000 to 2006.
Fan votes accounted for 50% of the voting, with the remaining 25% split between a media panel and existing players. Morant, the No. 2 selection in the 2019 draught behind Zion Williamson, was rewarded for leading Memphis to a shocking third-place finish in the Western Conference.
He and Marc Gasol are the only Grizzlies players elected All-Star starters, averaging 25.8 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.9 rebounds.
Wiggins was the most unexpected choice. Since being traded to Golden State two years ago, the No. 1 selection in the 2014 draft has flourished, averaging 18.1 points for the league’s second-best club.