James and Antetokounmpo highlight NBA all-star starters


Los Angeles (AFP)

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo headline a star-studded group of starters for the 2020 NBA All-Star game that also includes second year European sensation Luka Doncic.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar James will captain the Western Conference team for the second consecutive season and Milwaukee Bucks reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo will once again take charge of the Eastern Conference side.

James and Antetokounmpo have the honor of choosing the sides for their respective conferences because they are the top two vote getters.

The two captains select the rosters for their own teams on February 6 from the pool of available players -- regardless of conference -- for the February 16 showcase in Chicago.

The polls closed with fan ballots counting for 50 percent, current NBA players having 25 percent say and a media panel having the other 25 percent say in selecting the 10 starters -- two guards and three forwards from each conference.

Doncic is the fresh face in the starters list this season as the Slovenian standout joins Houston Rockets star James Harden in the West backcourt. Los Angeles Clippers forward and 2019 finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Lakers forward Anthony Davis fill out the frontcourt.

Like Doncic, Atlanta Hawks Trae Young is a rising second-year star, who secured his first all-star selection.

Young will be joined in the East backcourt by Boston Celtics Kemba Walker.

Antetokounmpo will be flanked by Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Toronto's Pascal Siakam, another first time all-star and starter, in the East frontcourt.

James, with 6.27 million fan votes, and Greek superstar Antetokounmpo, with 5.90 million fan votes, led their respective conferences. Doncic had 6.11 million fan votes.

Doncic and Young, who were traded for each other on draft day, will forever be linked together.

They finished 1-2 in rookie-of-the year voting last season and this season they are the only two players in the NBA to rank in the top five in both points and assists.