The NBA announced the 2016 All-star Game Starters tonight. As expected, the Portland Trail Blazers were not represented.
The starters for the Western Conference will be (total votes in parentheses):
- Stephen Curry (1,604,325)
- Russell Westbrook (772,009)
- Kobe Bryant (1,891,614)
- Kevin Durant (980,787)
- Kawhi Leonard (782,339)
The starters for the Eastern Conference will be (total votes in parentheses):
- Dwyane Wade (941,466)
- Kyle Lowry (646,441)
- Lebron James (1,089,206)
- Paul George (711,595)
- Carmelo Anthony (567,348)
The starters were selected via fan vote conducted over social media. Bryant led all players with 1,891,614 votes, despite averaging only 16 points on 35 percent shooting for the season. Bryant has been selected as a starter by the fans every years since 1998. Lebron James led the eastern conference with 1,089,206 votes. This is the 12th consecutive year James has been selected to start.
Surprisingly, Zaza Pachulia (768,112) passed Draymond Green (726,616) for fourth in the west's frontcourt, and was only 14 thousand votes away from passing Leonard to secure a starting spot. Anthony beat out Pau Gasol (566,988) for the final east frontcourt place by a mere 360 votes.
For the west, Leonard will be making his first all-star appearance and Russell Westbrook will be a first time starter.
Damian Lillard (158,360) finished a disappointing 10th in the west's backcourt voting, despite being one of only three players in the league in the top 10 in both points and assists. Lillard can still be selected to the team as a reserve by the west's coaches. All-star reserves will be announced on TNT on January 28.
Lillard has appeared in two prior all-star games. The coaches selected him in 2014, and Adam Silver named him as an injury replacement in 2015.
The 2016 NBA all-star game will be held in Toronto on February 14.