The NBA announced its starters for the 2021 NBA All-Star game Thursday night.
Lakers forward LeBron James and Nets forward Kevin Durant were announced as captains. James, a three-time All-Star Game MVP, earned his 17th selection as an All-Star starter. Durant, a two-time All-Star Game MVP, earned his 11th All-Star selection after his injury-related absence last year snapped a streak of 10 straight appearances.
The All-Star game will take place in Atlanta on March 7.
Frontcourt — LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (captain)
Frontcourt — Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Frontcourt — Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
Backcourt — Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Backcourt — Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Frontcourt — Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Frontcourt — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Frontcourt — Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Backcourt— Bradley Beal (first-time starter), Washington Wizards
Backcourt — Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
Lillard and Dončić were tied for second place among Western Conference guards based on votes from fans (50%), players (25%) and media (25%). The fan vote broke the tie to get Dončić the starting nod. Curry earned his seventh NBA All-Star selection as a starter.
The 30 head coaches will determine the All-Star reserves. If a player drops out due to injury or opts out for any reason, the commissioner is allowed to name the replacement. Reserve players will be announced on Feb. 23.
Numerous players have objected to holding an All-Star Game amid the COVID-19 crisis, but attendance is still mandatory for those who are selected. The annual skills challenge, three-point contest and dunk contest are also slated to be held on March 7.
A "mini bubble" has been created for players attending All-Star weekend, per the NBA. Players will travel privately to Atlanta from their home markets, and they will stay at the same hotel. All players will be tested for COVID-19 each day during the All-Star break regardless of their participation in the weekend's events.