LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo now know who will join them on the playground for what is the 2023 version of the NBA All-Star Game.
The league announced 14 reserves – seven from each conference – who will join the previously announced starters that will suit up for either Team LeBron or Team Giannis on February 19 in Salt Lake City.
The team captains will pick their rosters playground-style just before tipoff. The draft will start at 7:30 pm ET and the captains can select any player.
The reserves from the Eastern Conference are Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Julius Randle (New York Knicks), and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) – the latter considered a frontrunner for league MVP but not an All-Star starter.
The East’s starters are Brooklyn Nets teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell, and Milwaukee’s Antetokounmpo.
The Western Conference reserves are Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz), Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings), and the duo of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies).
The West’s starters are the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson, the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ James.
The reserves were selected by the 30 NBA coaches, who voted for two guards, three frontcourt players, and two players at any position in their conference.
The rosters could add more players as replacements if any All-Stars are injured.
Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City will host the celebrity game and Rising Stars game on February 17, and the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest on February 18.
The NBA also recently revealed the 28 players who will compete in the Rising Stars Challenge, now being sponsored by Jordan Brand.
Orlando Magic forward and No. 1 overall draft pick Paolo Banchero, Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr., and Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey were among 11 rookies the NBA named to the game. The player pool also includes 10 second-year players and seven players from the NBA G League.
Following last year’s format change, four honorary coaches will draft teams of seven players for a four-team tournament. Retired NBA stars Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Deron Williams, and Jason Terry will serve as the coaches.
The G League was incorporated into the game for the first time last season, with four members of G League Ignite getting invited. This season, in addition to four Ignite prospects who are preparing for future NBA drafts – including Scoot Henderson – the NBA also chose Kenneth Lofton Jr. of the Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies), Mac McClung of the Delaware Blue Coats (Philadelphia 76ers), and Scotty Pippen Jr. of the South Bay Lakers (Los Angeles Lakers).
McClung, a 6-foot-2 guard, will also become the first G League player to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest. – Rappler.com
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