According to Rachel Nichols of ESPN, Kevin Durant will still serve as a captain of the Eastern Conference All-Star team even though he will not play in the game.
Durant has not suited up for the Brooklyn Nets since February 13 against the Golden State Warriors, and will be sidelined through at least the All-Star break due to a left hamstring injury. The decision to have him skip the All-Star Game was made this week after a follow-up MRI was carried out. The Nets‘ medical staff believes Durant needs additional time to return to full strength.
After earning the second-most All-Star Game votes from fans, Durant was named as one of the two All-Star captains alongside Lakers legend LeBron James. Megastar Durant and fellow All-Star Game captain LeBron James will each draft a roster out of the pool of selected All-Stars which will air on TNT on March 4.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver named Domantas Sabonis as Durant’s injury replacement in the game, and Jayson Tatum was elevated to become an All-Star starter in Durant’s absence.
This marks Durant’s first time as a captain. He has been sensational this season, averaging 29.0 points on 52.4 percent shooting, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists for a Nets team that is currently at par with the Philadelphia 76ers for first in the Eastern Conference.
The All-Star Game will be a one-night event in Atlanta on March 7 that will incorporate both the game and the All-Star Saturday Night events. The Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest will take place before the game, while the Slam Dunk Contest will serve as the halftime entertainment.