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NBA All-Star Game 2023: Live Draft Format Revealed; Captains to Pick Teams Before Tip

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2023

PORTLAND, OREGON - JANUARY 22: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Moda Center on January 22, 2023 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
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The NBA is making a slight change to its All-Star Game draft this season.

Rather than having the team captains draft the rosters ahead of time, those two players will select their teams live on the same day as the All-Star Game itself, prior to tipoff.

The two team captains will be the fan's top vote-getters from each conference. In the third fan return, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James stood atop the Western Conference, while Milwaukee Bucks two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was leading in the East.

NBA on TNT @NBAonTNT

The 2023 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> Draft will take place on the same day as the All-Star Game 👀🍿<br><br>LIVE Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7:30pm ET on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAonTNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAonTNT</a> <a href="https://t.co/XoUQTonWju">pic.twitter.com/XoUQTonWju</a>

It will be James' 19th appearance in the All-Star Game. That will tie him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most appearances in NBA history, a fitting accomplishment given that James is likely to surpass Abdul-Jabbar as the league's all-time leading scorer this season.

This year's All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

In the Western Conference, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić and Lakers big man Anthony Davis sat atop the voting in the frontcourt behind James from the third fan returns, while Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić were the current leaders in the backcourt.

In the East, a pair of talented wings—Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant and Boston Celtics dynamo Jayson Tatum—were leading the voting in the frontcourt behind Antetokounmpo. Durant's teammate, Kyrie Irving, and Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell led the voting in the backcourt.

NBA Communications @NBAPR

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo lead their respective conferences in the third fan returns of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> Voting presented by AT&amp;T. <br><br>Fans account for 50% of the vote to decide All-Star starters. NBA players and a media panel account for 25% each. <a href="https://t.co/nqNZqkeVJw">pic.twitter.com/nqNZqkeVJw</a>

The team captains and starters will be revealed on Thursday's Inside the NBA starting at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.