Kawhi Leonard 3rd, Paul George 5th in first All-Star Ballot returns

If the All-Star game was today, Kawhi Leonard would be starting.
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The first round of returns are in for All-Star fan voting, and both Clippers stars made the top five in the Western Conference frontcourt category.

Kawhi Leonard received 1.28 million votes, good for third place behind LeBron James and Nikola Jokic, meaning Leonard would start the game were these returns final and the league’s players and media concurred with the fans’ decision (the voting breakdown is 50% fans, 25% players and 25% media).

George was a “distant fifth”, not enough to crack the starting frontcourt. However, it seems extremely likely as of now that the league’s coaches will vote George in as a reserve.

If the All-Star game were to start today, the Western Conference team would be: Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Nikola Jokic. The Eastern Conference team would be: Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, and Kyrie Irving. The current leaders are LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Shams Charania has reported that the NBA and NBPA have agreed to host the All-Star game on March 7 in Atlanta. They are still finalizing the details of the plan. Adrian Wojnarowski initially reported that the league wanted to skip the All-Star game, but clearly, that's changed. The proceeds of the game will benefit historically black colleges and universities, along with COVID-19 relief.

The fan vote will continue through February 16, and the starters will be announced on TNT on February 18. De'Aaron Fox recently detracted from the idea of having an All-Star Game, "I’m going to be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid," Fox said. "If we have to wear masks and do all this for a regular game, what’s the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?"

Do you think there should be an All-Star game?