2021 NBA All-Star Game starters announced: LeBron James, Kevin Durant lead way as team captains

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The 2021 NBA All-Star Game was originally cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the league has reversed course and decided to hold a one-night event in Atlanta on March 7 — despite objections from a number of players who will be involved and the city’s mayor. 

We won’t know the full teams until next week, but on Thursday night we did learn the starters. Here’s a look at the 10 players who were chosen by a combination of voting from fans, media and other players. LeBron James and Kevin Durant were named captains by virtue of being the leading vote-getters in each conference. 

Once the reserves are announced on Feb. 23, LeBron and Durant will reconvene on March 4 to hold the annual All-Star Draft. Once again, the actual teams won’t be broken down by conference lines. Instead, LeBron and Durant will choose their teams pick-up game style. 

Western Conference

Eastern Conference

There was a bit of drama this year in determining the Western Conference starters. When the votes from all the different groups are tallied, each player ends up with a weighted score, and this year Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard finished in a tie. Doncic ended up getting the starting spot because he won the tiebreaker, which is based on fan voting. 

In addition to the actual game, the league is including the All-Star Saturday night events in one day. The Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest will take place pre-game, while the Dunk Contest will be held at halftime. In addition, the league announced that they will honor Kobe Bryant during the All-Star Game by once again incorporating his jersey number — 24 — into the determination of the final target score. 

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