LeBron and Giannis each have over 2 million votes to lead the All-Star voting

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo won the first round of All-Star voting, according to NBA data announced Thursday afternoon.

Antetokounmpo received the most votes overall, with over 2.1 million, while James was the only other player to receive more than 2 million. With his 20th All-Star selection, James would break a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in NBA history.

Antetokounmpo was joined at the top of the East frontcourt voting by Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (1.84 million votes) and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (1.77 million votes). They held a huge lead over fourth-placed Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (767,913) and fifth-placed Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown (426,589).

Out West, James, Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (1.81 million votes), and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (1.64 million votes) were the only frontcourt players with more than 1 million votes. Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers (988,255) finished fourth, while Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers (669,320) was fifth.

In the backcourt, Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, who led Indiana to the in-season tournament title game, is on track to start the All-Star Game, which will be hosted in Indianapolis next month, after earning almost 1.4 million votes.

He was followed by Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (955,751), Trae Young (873,979), Donovan Mitchell (624,819), and 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (480,062).

In the West, a pair of well-known names — Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry — were the only backcourt players to receive more than one million votes. They were followed by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder (966,927), Clippers guard James Harden (435,951), and Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks (388,170).

Fan vote accounts for 50% of the formula used to choose All-Star starters, along with media voting (25%), and NBA player voting (25%). Each starting lineup will consist of three frontcourt players and two backcourt players, with coaches deciding on the reserves.

The next round of All-Star voting will take place on January 11. The NBA declared before this season that it will return to the original format of East vs. West for the All-Star Game, abandoning the method of captains selecting teams that it has utilized since 2018. Antetokounmpo and James received the most votes – and served as captains – for last season’s contest in Utah, which Antetokounmpo’s side won 184-175.

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