LEBRON James took over Giannis Antetokounmpo as the top vote-getter as Stephen Curry overtook Golden State Warriors teammate Kevin Durant for the lead in the Western Conference in the second returns of the fan votes for the NBA All-Star Game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star saw an impressive surge in his votes in the second vote tabulation released by the NBA on Thursday (Friday, Manila time, as James led first-returns leader Antetokounmpo by over 140,000.
Out West, Curry also became the new leader after surpassing Durant’s tally by more than 40,000 votes.
James has 1,622,838 votes and filling up the top three frontcourt players in the East are Antetokounmpo (1,480,954) and Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid (784,287). New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis is fourth with 640,928 votes.
Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving leads all East guards with 1,370,643 votes, followed by Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (537,168). At third is Sixers’ Ben Simmons (397,942), with Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo close behind (385,448).
In the Western Conference, Curry takes the top spot among all guards with 1,369,658 votes. Houston Rockets’ James Harden (978,540) and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (791,332) are second and third, respectively.
Among the frontcourt players, Durant leads with 1,326,759 votes, while New Orleans Pelicans big Anthony Davis comes in second with 664,687. Warriors’ do-it-all forward Draymond Green (616,730) is at third, followed by DeMarcus Cousins (587,835).
With the new All-Star voting format, James and Curry would serve as captains if the voting ended today, and each of them will form their respective teams from the pool of players fans voted in as starters and coaches selected as reserves.
Fan votes make up for 50 percent, while votes from current players and a media panel each make up 25 percent to determine the starters (top two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference). Fan voting ends Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
Coaches will then choose the reserves and the two top vote-getters from each conference get to pick their teammates from the pool.
The All-Star captains and starters will be announced January 18, with the reserves unveiled five days later. The All-Star Game is set on February 18 at Los Angeles.