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LeBron James takes lead in NBA All-Star fan voting

LeBron James in Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during a 111-104 Indiana Pacers win at Arena on January 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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LeBron James has led the NBA in All-Star fan voting the previous five years.

After trailing Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo in initial returns and Curry last week, LeBron has taken the overall lead again this year:

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A late riser last year too, LeBron will likely hold his overall lead and serve as a captain for the fifth time in the NBA’s five years of drafting teams. LeBron has said getting into the All-Star game through fan voting motivated him to compete hard during the exhibition, though last year – amid the coronavirus pandemic – was an obvious exception.

Durant remains in line to claim the other captaincy, though Antetokounmpo remains within striking distance. (It should go to Curry, who has more votes than both. But the NBA insists on naming one captain from each the East and West despite conferences no longer dividing rosters.)

Within position groups, there was minimal movement in the leaderboard since last week. As has been the case since the initial returns, seven of 10 starting spots appear locked in:

  • Western Conference guard: Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  • Western Conference frontcourt: LeBron James (Lakers)
  • Western Conference frontcourt: Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
  • Eastern Conference guard: DeMar DeRozan (Bulls)
  • Eastern Conference frontcourt: Kevin Durant (Nets)
  • Eastern Conference frontcourt: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
  • Eastern Conference frontcourt: Joel Embiid (76ers)

Ja Morant has expanded his lead over Luka Doncic for second among Western Conference guards. Considering the support he’s expected to get from media and fellow players, Morant is next-most-likely All-Star starter.

Trae Young, Zach LaVine and James Harden remain a tight 2-3-4 in fan voting at Eastern Conference guard. Each slot could matter once media and player voting gets computed.

The last Western Conference frontcourt spot remains wide open with Andrew Wiggins (third in fan voting), Draymond Green (sixth), Karl-Anthony Towns (eighth) and Rudy Gobert (ninth) all in the race. Green might fare best when accounting for all three voting blocs, but his Warriors teammate Wiggins holding third in fan voting – which counts double the other two factions – could go a long way.