Los Angeles Times

James voted All-Star a 19th time

The Lakers forward ties Abdul-Jabbar for the league record and will captain the Western Conference team.

- By Andrew Greif

Only days before LeBron James surpasses one of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s NBA records, he equaled another of his Lakers predecesso­r’s record-setting achievemen­ts.

James was named an All-Star Game starter Thursday, matching Abdul-Jabbar as the only 19-time AllStar in the league’s history.

His no-doubt selection as a starter and captain follows what has been a superlativ­e individual season for the 38-year-old Lakers forward: 29.9 points per game, 8.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists. With 7.4 million votes, James earned the most votes of any player by a margin of 700,000 over Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokoun­mpo.

In the Western Conference, James will be joined by starters Nikola Jokic of Denver, Luka Doncic of Dallas, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Zion Williamson of New Orleans, whose availabili­ty to play is in question after the Pelicans said that Williamson’s right hamstring injury will be reevaluate­d in two weeks.

Antetokoun­mpo will captain the East and be joined by fellow starters Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of Brooklyn, Jayson Tatum of Boston and Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell.

Starters were determined by the top three frontcourt and top two guards in each conference as voted by fans, who accounted for half the total, and media members and players, which counted for one-quarter each. Jokic earned the most votes of any West frontcourt player among players and media, while James finished

first among fans.

Lakers big man Anthony Davis finished fourth in overall voting for the West frontcourt, edged by

Williamson as a starter. Both have played a limited number of games because of injury, with Davis available for 26 games and Williamson 29.

Waiting alongside Davis to see whether they will be announced as West reserves will be the Clippers duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, who finished seventh and 10th in the conference’s frontcourt voting, respective­ly. Each conference’s seven reserves will be revealed Feb. 2 after a vote of NBA coaches.

The leading vote-getter in each conference was named captain. This is the sixth consecutiv­e season James has served as captain and he is 5-0 in the role. This is the third season Antetokoun­mpo has been a captain.

In a procedural twist introduced this week by the league and players associatio­n, the All-Star captains will draft their teams only a half-hour before the game tips off Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.

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