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LeBron James, Stephen Curry lead starters for 2018 NBA All-Star Game, will be first-ever captains

For the first time ever, this year’s NBA All-Star Game will feature two captains picking their respective teams from a pool of starters selected by fans, fellow players and media members. After all the votes were tallied, the league announced the captains on TNT on Thursday night, and the guys who’ll be choosing sides … well, you’ve seen a lot of them the last few summers.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the top overall vote-getter in fan balloting, and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who led all Western Conference players in voting, will act as the captains in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game next month in Los Angeles. They’ll be responsible for filling out their lineups from a pool of starters that features established NBA royalty, ascendent young stars and — factoring in on- and off-court rivalries and biases — at least a couple of opportunities for some spicy combinations.

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Joining James among the five representatives from the Eastern Conference are his former Cavalier teammate and current Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, Milwaukee Bucks dynamo Giannis Antetokounmpo, and, in his first appearance in the midseason exhibition, crowd-pleasing and charismatic Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

LeBron James and Stephen Curry will be the first-ever NBA All-Star Game captains. (AP)

Curry’s joined among Western Conference participants by his Warriors teammate Kevin Durant, Houston Rockets guard James Harden, and New Orleans Pelicans big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, who joins Embiid as the only first-time starters among this year’s selections.

Fan voting accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10-starter pool, while the ballots cast by NBA players and a panel of media members accounted for 25 percent each. Starters were decided upon via a weighted average of each players’ finish under each voting faction, with the fan vote breaking any ties. These 10 starters will be joined by 14 reserves, who are still chosen by NBA coaches and who will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23, during the pre-game show of that evening’s TNT broadcast.

The full captain-selected rosters will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25, in a pre-show that starts at 7 p.m. ET; sadly, it looks like NBA commissioner Adam Silver is sticking to his plan to have the draft done in secret, depriving NBA fans of the fun of watching the captains pick their teams, in favor of avoiding any embarrassment for those players picked late in the game. Dang.

This year’s All-Star Game will be played at Staples Center in L.A. on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.

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