(CBSSPORTS) – With more than half of the 2021-22 season in the books and the All-Star Game approaching, it’s time to name the starters for the league’s mid-season exhibition. Those starters were determined by a vote divided amongst fans (50 percent), media (25 percent) and players (25), and on Thursday, those starters were announced on TNT with an assist from the accounting firm Ernst and Young. With two guards and three front-court players coming from each conference, the following 10 players have been selected:
|DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls||Guard||East|
|Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks||Guard||East|
|*Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets||Frontcourt||East|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks||Frontcourt||East|
|Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers||Frontcourt||East|
|Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors||Guard||West|
|Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies||Guard||West|
|*LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers||Frontcourt||West|
|Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets||Frontcourt||West|
|Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors||Frontcourt||West|
Just because players are selected by conference doesn’t mean teams are divided that way anymore. For the fifth consecutive year, the leading vote-getter in each conference will draft their teams, and for the fifth consecutive year, James is captaining one of the two teams. His counterpart will be Durant for the second season in a row, and just as he did last season, Durant will miss the All-Star Game due to injury.
Morant and Wiggins headline the remaining starters as the lone first-time All-Stars. On the other end of the spectrum, James has been chosen as a starter for the 18th season in a row. Most of the East has quite a bit of All-Star experience. Embiid and DeRozan are both playing in their fifth All-Star Game. Antetokounmpo is in his sixth. The newbie of the group, Young, is making his second appearance as a starter. Curry is playing in his eighth All-Star Game and Jokic is playing in his fourth.
Wiggins is the major surprise of the group. While he has impressed in his second full season with the Warriors, he was not expected to earn a starting nod despite his strong vote total from fans. However, it appears as though enough media and player voters supported him to squeak him through. He is the lowest-scoring starter in the All-Star Game at 18.1 points per game.
With the starters now announced, we can now look ahead to Feb. 3, when the reserves will be revealed. A week later on Feb. 10, James and Durant will draft their teams, and the All-Star Game itself will be played on Feb. 20.