LEBRON James is the first player to reach 1 million votes while Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia widened the gap for the second spot in the Western Conference frontcourt in the latest returns of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game voting released on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
James garnered 1,066,147 votes to lead all players while Stephen Curry took the second overall spot with 990,390 ballots and is the leading vote-getter in the Western Conference.
For Western starters, Curry is joined by Warriors teammate Kevin Durant who took 987,479 votes (third leading overall) and the surprising Pachulia, who still holds second place among West frontcourt players. The Georgian center actually saw his numbers rise by around 400,000 since last week to 823,376.
Pachulia even doubled his lead from 98,435 to 192, 610 votes over San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard who has 630,766. New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis is at the fourth spot with 567,201.
Fighting for the other guard spot in the West are the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (961,685) and Russell Westbrook (899,024) of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the Eastern Conference, James is joined in the frontcourt by Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (963,110) and Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kevin Love (473,328). The guards are composed of Cavs star Kyrie Irving (971,362) and Chicago Bulls veteran Dwyane Wade (514,866).
Seeing their stocks rise are Philadelphia 76ers rookie Joel Embiid (457,300), Toronto Raptors leading scorer DeMar DeRozan (453,538) and the Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas (401,671).
Despite a campaign by his Filipino fans, Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson has yet to break into the Top 10 among West guards, the last spot of which is held by Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves who has 94,867 votes.
Starters for both teams will be decided by fan voting (50%), current NBA players (25%) and a panel of basketball media (25%). The starters will be composed of three frontcourt players and two guards. Coaches will select the seven reserves who will round up the teams.
The NBA said that more than 21 million votes have been cast and is a 142% increase from the same time period last year.
Voting for the All-Star Game is up to January 16 (January 17 in Manila).
The 66th NBA All-Star Game will be on February 19 (Feb. 20, Mania time) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.