LeBron takes over as top choice in All-Star vote
2:35 PM ET
  • Tim BontempsESPN

LeBron James surged into the lead in the second round of voting for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, the league announced Thursday afternoon.

After Mavericks guard Luka Doncic led all players in the first round of voting announced last week, James stormed past Doncic and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo into the top spot with 3,359,871 total votes. Doncic (3,277,870), Antetokounmpo (3,259,383) and James’ Lakers teammate Anthony Davis (3,124,446) are the only players with more than 3 million votes.

Fan voting accounts for 50 percent of the vote for the five starters — two backcourt and three frontcourt players — from each conference. The other 50 percent is split evenly among voting by media members and the players themselves.

Doncic holds the top spot among Western Conference guards, followed by Houston Rockets star James Harden, who had 2,167,269 votes. No other West guard had even a million votes. Portland‘s Damian Lillard was a distant third, followed by the Warriors‘ injured Stephen Curry, the Rockets’ Russell Westbrook and Lakers backup Alex Caruso.

James and Davis lead West frontcourt players, with the ClippersKawhi Leonard (2,210,539) in third. Like the backcourt players, no other forward has even a million votes. Leonard’s teammate Paul George is fourth, followed by Denver‘s Nikola Jokic, Minnesota‘s Karl-Anthony Towns and the Mavs’ Kristaps Porzingis.

Milwaukee‘s Antetokounmpo led all East frontcourt players, and is the only East player with more than 2 million votes. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (1,784,211) is second among frontcourt players, and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (1,730,763) is third. Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (1,400,293) is fourth, while Boston Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum (1,182,663) and rookie center Tacko Fall (543,352) are fifth and sixth, respectively.

Fall has played in just four games this season, averaging 4.3 points a game, but the 7-foot-6 rookie center is a fan favorite. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he “didn’t love” the fact that Fall was garnering so much support.

“The reason I said I don’t like it is because there’s a lot of guys that have played however many [games] … and those guys have all busted it to have great years, whether they’re on our team, other teams, whatever the case may be,” he said Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“I think if we’re gonna have an All-Star Game, you try to pick the guys that impact winning for the very best [teams]. But you know, that’s probably not possible. I realize it’s a mix of a popularity contest and what you’ve accomplished, and how you’ve played thus far.”

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young maintained his lead among East backcourt players with 1,389,628 votes, followed closely by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (1,351,997) in second and Boston’s Kemba Walker (1,331,557) in third.

They are the only guards with over a million votes, and are followed by Detroit‘s Derrick Rose, Chicago‘s Zach LaVine, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Philly’s Ben Simmons.

The NBA will update the voting totals for a third and final time on Jan. 16, with voting closing on Jan. 20. The All-Star starters, along with the two team captains — the starter to receive the most fan votes from each conference — will be revealed on Jan. 23 on TNT. The league will announce the reserves, which are chosen by the league’s head coaches, on Jan. 30.

The All-Star Game will take place at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 16.

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