NBA All-Star 2021: Kevin Durant and LeBron James lead respective conferences in first returns of voting

While the NBA is finalizing a deal to hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7, All-Star voting opened on January 28 and ran through February 16. On Thursday the league revealed the first results with the top 10 players named for each conference in the backcourt and frontcourt. 

Like every year, fan voting accounts for 50 percent of the final vote for the five starters named in each conference, with the coaches and media each having a 25 percent say in the starters. The player with the most number of votes in each conference is named a captain, and the two captains pick teams from the pre-selected pool of All-Stars. 

After the first returns, in the Eastern backcourt, Kevin Durant leads all vote-getters in the league, with fellow Brooklyn teammates Kyrie Irving and James Harden respectively, behind Wizards star Bradley Beal.

In the Western Conference, LeBron James sits atop all front court players while also leading the conference in votes. Stephen Curry returned to the top spot for guards after being out last season with a broken hand.

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According to the results released by the NBA, Durant leads all players with 2,302,705 votes, while James comes in close at 2,288,676. Stephen Curry is the only other player who has received a minimum of two million votes (2,113,178). Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal leads all Eastern Conference guards with 1,273,817 votes. 

Despite coming back from a torn Achilles, Durant has shattered even the most optimistic expectations for him. The Nets megastar is averaging 30.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per night. He is also shooting 53.3 percent overall and a career-high 45.2 percent from the three-pointer line.

Reigning two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a dominant season with 27 points, 11.2 rebounds and six assists in 20 games for the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Perhaps the biggest surprise from the first round of voting is that Anthony Davis sits fourth among frontcourt players in the Western Conference. This season, he has not been as dominant statistically as he has in the past. Averaging 22.3 points per game, he is on pace to record his lowest average since 2013-14. He is also averaging the fewest rebounds per game (8.7) since he was a rookie in 2012-13.

Advait Jajodia
An experienced sports content writer. A national-level basketball player and a huge sporting enthusiast.

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