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Official: Kevin Durant will be All-Star Game captain ... again

Brooklyn Nets v Chicago Bulls Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The NBA announced Thursday that Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant was selected as a captain in the All-Star Game after receiving the most votes among Eastern Conference players. He will join the Lakers’ LeBron James, who was selected as captain for the Western Conference. The two will draft rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference. However, Durant will not play in the game, recovering from a strained meniscus.

The Nets celebrated with a video...

The rest of the starters from the East were Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid in the frontcourt, along with Atlanta’s Trae Young and Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan. Reserves for the game, voted on by the head coaches in each conference, will be announced on February 3. In the final count, James Harden was fourth, Kyrie Irving seventh.

Durant was selected by fans (50 percent), current NBA players (25 percent) and a media panel (25 percent) to start in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, Durant finished No. 1 in all three categories. The All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, February 20, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Durant has been named an All-Star for the 12th time in his career and an All-Star Game starter for the 10th time. He has been selected as an All-Star for the 12th straight season that he has played (2010-22), with the lone exception being the 2020 All-Star Game after he missed the 2019-20 season due to injury.

The only active player with more All-Star Game selections than Durant is James (selected for the 18th time tonight). A two-time All-Star Game MVP (2012 and 2019) who holds the second-highest scoring average in All-Star Game history (25.0 points per game), Durant has recorded averages of a league-leading 29.3 points on 52.0 percent shooting from the field, 37.2 percent shooting from 3-point range and 89.4 percent shooting from the free-throw line (seventh in the league), 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 36.5 minutes per game across 36 games this season.

He is on pace for the third-highest scoring average of his career, trailing only 32.0 points per game in his 2013-14 MVP season with Oklahoma City and 30.1 points per game in 2009-10 with the Thunder, and his points per game are also on pace to be the highest in a season in Nets franchise history. Durant has recorded 20 or more points in 34 of his 36 games played this season, including 15 games of 30 or more points. He tallied a Nets career-high 51 points in a road victory over the Detroit Pistons on December. 12 and followed up that performance by posting his 14th-career triple-double (34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists) in a win over the Toronto Raptors two days later in Brooklyn, becoming the first player in franchise history to register a 50-point performance and a triple-double in consecutive games.

Durant has led Brooklyn to a 24-12 record in games he’s appeared in this season, while the Nets currently boast a 29-19 record, good for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Durant is the first Net to ever be selected to start multiple All-Star games (2022 and 2021). He joins Kyrie Irving (2021), Jason Kidd (2008), Vince Carter (2005), Kenny Anderson (1994) and Derrick Coleman (1994) as players selected to start an All-Star game in Nets history. Durant is also one of four players in Nets NBA history to earn multiple All-Star Game selections (two), joining Jason Kidd (five), Vince Carter (three) and Buck Williams (two), and is the first Net to be selected to consecutive All-Star games since Kidd in 2007 and 2008.