NBA All-Star Game 2019 Rosters: Captains and Starters Revealed for Draft Format

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NV- OCTOBER 10:   LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors on October 10, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The NBA announced the 2019 All-Star Game starters on Thursday night, with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo headlining the group.

James and Antetokounmpo will serve as the All-Star captains. The full voting results are available on the NBA's official site.

Here are the five starters from the Eastern and Western Conferences:

   

Eastern Conference

  • Backcourt: Kyrie Irving, G, Boston Celtics
  • Backcourt: Kemba Walker, G, Charlotte Hornets
  • Frontcourt: Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Frontcourt: Kawhi Leonard, F, Toronto Raptors
  • Frontcourt: Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers

     

Western Conference

  • Backcourt: Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
  • Backcourt: James Harden, G, Houston Rockets
  • Frontcourt: LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers
  • Frontcourt: Kevin Durant, F, Golden State Warriors
  • Frontcourt: Paul George, F, Oklahoma City Thunder

      

James is headed to the All-Star Game for the 15th time, which ties him with Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O'Neal for the third-most in NBA history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar owns the record with 19 All-Star appearances. Assuming he stays healthy, James has a good chance of at least tying Abdul-Jabbar's all-time mark.

Although LeBron was all but assured of a starting nod, the same couldn't be said of his fellow West frontcourt players in what was a tight All-Star race. Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic and Paul George were all fighting for what were essentially two spots. One could throw Rudy Gobert in that group as well since he sits ninth in ESPN.com's real plus-minus.

Durant and George ultimately got the nod. 

The margin between George and Davis was razor-thin, with the fan vote serving as the tiebreaker between the two. George received 3,122,346 votes from the fans, far surpassing Davis' total of 2,520,728 votes.

Jim McCormick of ESPN noted how the Oklahoma City Thunder star has experienced quite an All-Star turnaround in one year:

For the most part, Thursday's reveal played out as expected.

Kemba Walker was the exception, though he was a deserving candidate to win a tight backcourt battle in the East. The Charlotte Hornets point guard is enjoying a career year, averaging 25.0 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 43.6 percent from the field.

The Hornets shared a video of Walker learning of his honor along with everybody else:

When the NBA released the first 2019 All-Star voting returns, fans couldn't help but notice Luka Doncic and Derrick Rose sitting second among frontcourt and backcourt players, respectively, in the West. They maintained their spots in the final voting returns, and Doncic's 4,242,980 votes were third-highest of any player.

Under the old format, the pair would be headed to the All-Star Game. However, the NBA tweaked the voting format in December 2016 to include NBA players and media members. The fan vote only counted for 50 percent, while players and writers received 25 percent apiece.

Because of that change, neither Doncic nor Rose had much of a chance to be an All-Star starter. That didn't stop the Timberwolves from showing their disappointing with the final results:

Like last year, the NBA will hold an All-Star draft to fill out the respective teams. This time around, though, the league will broadcast the draft after holding the event behind closed doors in 2018. TNT will carry the All-Star draft on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET.

Before that happens, the NBA will announce the All-Star reserves on Jan. 31.

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