NBA All-Star Game 2022: Explaining Draft Format, Examining Latest Voting Results

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 26, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (6) reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 in New York. The Lakers won 106-96. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

In 2018, the NBA changed the format for its All-Star Game. Instead of sticking with the traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference matchup, the league opted to incorporate a draft that would feature two captains forming teams by selecting from a pool of players.

LeBron James has assembled some successful teams in that time. He's been a captain for the All-Star Game in each of the four years since the format was introduced, and his squad has never lost. He's overseen wins against teams captained by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (2018), Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (2019 and 2020) and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (2021).

James could once again be a captain for the 2022 All-Star Game, which is set to take place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, on Feb. 20. Here's everything you need to know for the buildup to the event.


NBA All-Star Draft Schedule

Jan. 27: Captains and starters announced

Feb. 3: Reserves announced

Feb. 10: All-Star Draft

Feb. 18-20: All-Star Weekend


Draft Format

The 10 starters for the All-Star Game are determined by a combination of voting by the fans (50 percent), players (25) and media (25). The leading vote-getter from each conference gets to serve as a captain for the matchup and will draft his team.

There are 14 reserves for the All-Star Game, and those players are selected by NBA head coaches. If any player can't participate in the game, he will be replaced by a player chosen by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The captains will take turns selecting players from the pool during the All-Star Draft on Feb. 10. They will choose from the group of starters first before filling out their rosters with players from the list of reserves. It doesn't matter which conference a player is from.

The coaches for the two All-Star teams are determined by the NBA standings two weeks prior to the game. The first-place team from each conference will send its coaching staff to the All-Star Game to be paired with the captain from its conference.


Latest Voting Results

For the fifth straight year, James could be one of the two All-Star captains. In the latest fan voting results, revealed Thursday, James led the NBA with 6,827,449 votes.

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant was leading the Eastern Conference with 5,496,513 votes, meaning there's a good chance the All-Star Game could end up being Team LeBron vs. Team Durant for the second year in a row.

Four other players had more than 4 million votes as of the last update: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (6,019,418), Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (5,124,925), Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (4,132,522) and Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan (4,121,034).

There were close races taking place in the backcourts of each league. In the Eastern Conference, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (2,147,111) had a slim lead over the Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine (1,988,452) for the second spot. For the same position in the Western Conference, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (2,623,359) had the edge over the Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (1,923,187).

Fan voting for the All-Star Game ended Saturday. The captains and starters will be announced Thursday, and the reserves will be revealed Feb. 3.

It's not known who the players and media have been voting for, but it seems that James is heading toward being a captain again. Curry, Durant and Antetokounmpo have all been captains before, and it's likely that one of them could be in the role again this year.