Fan voting for the NBA All-Star Game is a hotly debated topic around the league. It makes fans feel like they have some say over who they get to watch throw down dunks and make crazy plays, and it also brings about some crazy results. This year's game in Chicago on Feb. 16 won't be any different.
Fan voting is not perfect, and while it does incite some ridiculous debates before the rosters are actually solidified, it also shows that even as the game continues to skew younger, the elite veterans still reign supreme. In 2017, for example, Zaza Pachulia ranked second in the Western Conference frontcourt ahead of players like Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis and Draymond Green -- solely off fan voting.
After last week's first returns, 20-year-old Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic led all players in votes. However, after the second wave of votes, LeBron James is now the top vote-getter in the league. James (3,359,871) is slightly ahead of Doncic's 3,277,870 to lead the entire league in votes. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (3,259,383) trails both players, while Anthony Davis (3,124,446) is the only other player to have over three million votes.
Fan voting counts for 50 percent of the equation into who will be an All-Star starter, while the remaining 50 percent is broken down to the players and media, each getting a 25 percent stake over the decisions. All players and voting media members complete one ballot each that includes two guards and three frontcourt players to create the starting five for each conference. Voting for fans, players and media ends on Jan. 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The captains for each conference, which is determined by the highest vote-getter in the East and West, will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 23, as well as the All-Star Game starters. The reserves, who are voted on by the head coaches in the league, will be announced on Jan. 30.
1. LeBron James (LAL): 3,359,871
1. Luka Doncic (DAL): 3,277,870
2. Anthony Davis (LAL): 3,124,446
2. James Harden (HOU): 2,167,269
3. Kawhi Leonard (LAC): 2,210,539
3. Damian Lillard (POR): 687,855
4. Paul George (LAC): 845,719
4. Stephen Curry (GS): 595,913
5. Nikola Jokic (DEN): 559,881
5. Russell Westbrook (HOU): 581,500
6. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN): 545,385
6. Alex Caruso (LAL): 528,246
7. Kristaps Porzingis (DAL): 540,603
7. Donovan Mitchell (UTA): 449,835
8. Carmelo Anthony (POR): 520,021
8. Devin Booker (PHO): 381,071
9. Brandon Ingram (NO): 444,522
9. D'Angelo Russell (GS): 365,730
10. Dwight Howard (LAL): 390,037
10. Ja Morant (MEM): 257,433
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL): 3,259,383
1. Trae Young (ATL): 1,389,628
2. Joel Embiid (PHI): 1,784,211
2. Kyrie Irving (BKN): 1,351,997
3. Pascal Siakam (TOR): 1,730,763
3. Kemba Walker (BOS): 1,331,577
4. Jimmy Butler (MIA): 1,400,293
4. Derrick Rose (DET): 918,550
5. Jayson Tatum (BOS): 1,182,663
5. Zach Lavine (CHI): 572,022
6. Tacko Fall (BOS): 543,352
6. Kyle Lowry (TOR): 567,896
7. Bam Adebayo (MIA): 349,078
7. Jaylen Brown (BOS): 544,361
8. Gordon Hayward (BOS): 291,608
8. Ben Simmons (PHI): 456,066
9. Domantas Sabonis (IND): 239,639
9. Bradley Beal (WAS): 447,107
10. Andre Drummond (DET): 228,190
10. Fred VanVleet (TOR): 351,391
In the West, the top five in the backcourt have remained the same from the first returns, with James Harden, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook all rounding things out after Doncic. While in the frontcourt, Nikola Jokic has pushed out Karl-Anthony Towns for the No. 5 spot, with the top four remaining the same of LeBron, Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Out East, the top five of both the backcourt and frontcourt have remained the same. Joel Embiid trails vote-leader Giannis by two million, while Pascal Siakam, Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum fill in the rest of the top five in the frontcourt. For the conference's backcourt, Trae Young is still in the top spot, while Kyrie Irving remains ahead of Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose and Zach LaVine.
There's still about two weeks before voting closes, but each day fans can fill out a ballot on the NBA's site to cast their picks, in addition to going to Google and searching for a player's name, team or typing "NBA Vote" or "NBA All-Star Vote" to submit their selections. If using Google, fans are allowed to vote for 10 different players every day until Jan. 20.