While the midseason exhibition doesn't count in the standings, the rosters alone are often a source of contention among fans, all of them wanting their favorite players well-represented on the teams. Obviously, not everyone will be happy, especially with the starting lineups only including 10 players selected through the fan vote.
Before the controversy begins, here is everything you need to know about the upcoming announcement.
NBA All-Star Game Starters Announcement
When: Thursday, Jan. 21
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TNT Overtime
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|LeBron James||CLE||830,345||Kobe Bryant||LAL||1,533,432|
|Paul George||IND||569,947||Kevin Durant||OKC||774,782|
|Carmelo Anthony||NYK||368,336||Draymond Green||GS||499,947|
|Andre Drummond||DET||361,307||Kawhi Leonard||SA||487,626|
|Pau Gasol||CHI||294,172||Blake Griffin||LAC||396,630|
|Dwyane Wade||MIA||736,732||Stephen Curry||GS||1,206,467|
|Kyrie Irving||CLE||399,757||Russell Westbrook||OKC||609,901|
|Kyle Lowry||TOR||367,472||Chris Paul||LAC||410,284|
|Jimmy Butler||CHI||356,561||Klay Thompson||GS||386,053|
|John Wall||WAS||281,936||James Harden||HOU||319,596|
Kobe Ending on Top
At this point in his career, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is not the best player in the NBA. With an average of 16.3 points per game while making just 34.6 percent of his shots from the field, he isn't even close to being All-Star worthy.
However, that hasn't stopped the fans from honoring his incredible career by voting him in as a starter for the 2016 All-Star Game. As of the latest tally, Bryant leads all players in votes and seems like he will end on top, well ahead of much more deserving players.
While the veteran guard is well-aware he is getting a gift from the fans, he admitted it means a lot to see the respect he has earned around the league, per ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes:
The All-Star Games are always tough because there's always players that deserve to make it that don't. [It happens] every year with the amount of talent that we have. That part of it. It's tough, but getting the respect from the peers and other coaches around the league is awesome.
After retiring at the end of this year, Bryant will eventually end up in the Hall of Fame, where he will live on as one of the best to ever play this game. Adding one more All-Star appearance only bolsters his incredible resume.
Andre Drummond Trying to Get a Spot
This has been a breakout season for Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, who has transformed from a solid defensive big man into a legitimate superstar in his fourth year in the league. He leads the NBA in rebounding and brings in a double-double almost every game.
The problem is he currently trails Carmelo Anthony in the voting, and while the New York Knicks star is a fixture at this event, he might not be the most deserving choice.
So far the Pistons are doing their job to promote their star player with a series of entertaining tweets:
It remains to be seen whether this will pay off, especially considering the size of the New York market, but Drummond still has a chance to come from behind and finish in the third spot in the Eastern Conference voting.
Eastern Conference Guards
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade certainly has the popular vote to earn the starting nod for the East team, but the second backcourt spot remains very much up for grabs.
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has the inside track despite missing most of the season with a knee injury, which should really tell you all you need to know about the voting process. He simply has the name recognition, and fans are comfortable voting for a player who has proved himself in the past.
Toronto's Kyle Lowry and Chicago's Jimmy Butler also have a chance to get the final spot after strong starts to the season. Lowry earned his first All-Star selection a year ago thanks in part to a Justin Bieber boost, and he will need similar help this time around. Butler will certainly be on the roster in one way or another, but he might deserve a start as much as anyone as one of the top two-way guards in basketball.
Washington Wizards floor general John Wall also remains in the running, but he is likely too far back to make an impact. In any case, this race will likely be the most interesting to watch in the coming days.
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