LeBron, Durant headline 2021-22 NBA All-Star starters
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant will serve as captains for next month's All-Star Game after receiving the most fan votes in their respective conferences, it was announced Thursday on TNT.
The remaining Eastern and Western conference starters were also revealed:
Durant is currently injured with an MCL sprain and reportedly isn't expected to play in the All-Star Game. NBA commissioner Adam Silver will be tasked with selecting an injury replacement for Durant.
Meanwhile, Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan gets a starting nod after a tremendous start to his first season in Chicago. The veteran is averaging a team-high 26.4 points, five rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 43 games. DeRozan received more than five million fan votes to lead East guards and ranked as the top guard choice among players and media members.
A pair of first-time All-Stars - Ja Morant and Andrew Wiggins - will start the annual midseason showcase. Wiggins becomes the third Canadian ever to be named an All-Star, while Morant gets rewarded for his MVP-caliber play for the third-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
Starters were selected based on a combination of fan votes (50%), media votes (25%), and selections by NBA players (25%). No players from either the East-leading Miami Heat or West-leading Phoenix Suns were named starters.
All-Star reserves - who are chosen by the league's head coaches - will be announced Feb. 3. The All-Star Game is set to be played Feb. 20 in Cleveland.
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