Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks has overtaken Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets in the third and final fan voting returns for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Durant, who is out with a sprained MCL, trails Antetokounmpo by 132,014 votes, according to the update released on Thursday.
If Antetokounmpo finishes with the most votes in the East and LeBron James holds onto his extremely comfortable lead in the West, then the All-Star Game will feature Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis for the third time. James and Antetokounmpo led their respective conferences in votes in 2019 and 2020. In 2021 and 2022, however, it was Team LeBron vs. Team Durant. (James has led his conference in voting every year since this format was adopted in 2018, when he had the most votes in the East and Stephen Curry had the most in the West.)
LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo lead their respective conferences in the third fan returns of #NBAAllStar Voting presented by AT&T.— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 19, 2023
Fans account for 50% of the vote to decide All-Star starters. NBA players and a media panel account for 25% each. pic.twitter.com/nqNZqkeVJw
Aside from Antetokounmpo leapfrogging Durant, there was not much notable movement after the second round of voting returns. Jayson Tatum is still ahead of Joel Embiid for the third frontcourt spot in the Eastern Conference, and Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell have separated themselves from the other guards in the East.
James, Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis remain at the top of the list among Western Conference frontcourt players, with Zion Williamson in striking distance, while Curry and Luka Doncic are way ahead of Ja Morant and the rest of the backcourt players in the West.
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Fan voting, which accounts for half of the overall voting, ends on Saturday, Jan. 21. NBA players account for 25 percent, as does a panel of media members. The starters -- and the team captains -- will be announced next Thursday, Jan. 26 on TNT at 7 p.m. ET.
The All-Star Game will take place in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19.