In the latest round of All-Star Game balloting, which coincided with the announcement that he will probably miss the festivities, Kevin Durant has maintained his lead over Giannis Antetokounmpo. But his two superstar teammates remain stuck in fourth and sixth in fan votes.
Durant remains atop the East both in frontcourt voting and in overall numbers. In the NBA’s announcement Thursday, KD held his ground against the conference’s other two-time MVP. Durant finished the week with 5.5 million votes to Antetokounmpo’s 5.1 million. Next up is DeMar DeRozan who’s a million behind the Greek Freak. The Bulls’ swingman been designated a guard for the purposes of the All-Star Game.
Durant, of course, is out four to six weeks with an meniscus sprain. That would presumably put him out of commission for the game. The Nets will make the determination of when he’s ready to return.
Durant, while leading the East, has fallen behind LeBron James as well as Steph Curry in overall votes. James has been the top vote-getter in the league since 2018 the first year of the game’s new format and as if to remind everyone of that, his fans pushed him past both Durant and Curry. The two have attracted 6.8 million votes (James) and 6.0 million (Curry).
Meanwhile, the Nets three other contenders in the All-Star balloting, LaMarcus Aldridge in the front court 10th) and James Harden (4th) and Kyrie Irving (6th) got more votes, but didn’t move in the standings. No other Nets made the top 10. As we’ve noted before, whatever teams are in the conference lead on February 10 will send their head coach to Cleveland. The Nets are currently a half game behind the Bulls and Heat who are tied for first in the East.
Voting continues through midnight January 22, Saturday, with the names of the All-Star starters for both conferences to be released a week later. The top vote-getter in each conference acts as captain in an “All-Star Draft,” which will be televised. The two captains go back and forth “drafting” from a pool of 22 players who were voted as All-Stars, picking starters first and reserves next. In case of injury or illness, the commissioner’s office picks replacements.
Here’s the third round tally...
Fan vote accounts for 50 percent of the total. Media (25 percent) and players (25 percent) make up the remainder.