NBA 75th all-star lineup is announced

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Let’s get ready to rumble Michael Tipton via Flickr

by amir said, contributor

The all-star game has always been one of the National Basketball Association’s most popular events, and this year’s might be the most important and highly-anticipated one in recent history. From marking a significant anniversary to having some of the biggest names in the sport’s record, this game is set to make history.

This year’s game commemorates the 75th anniversary of the NBA, a major milestone in the history of one of the most influential athletic organizations in the world. While the game itself is the 71st edition of the event, it still commemorates the league’s anniversary and is expected to provide an unforgettable spectacle. Fun fact: the game is being held in Cleveland, Ohio, where the NBA’s 50th anniversary game was held in 1997.

As a quick summary for the selection process of all-star players, NBA players from the western and eastern conference teams get chosen to be part of the starting roster through a voting process consisting of fan, media, and player votes. The player with the most votes in each of the two conferences is also appointed captain and gets to draft his team from the roster. The same players tend to get voted in during consecutive years, with these typically being household names like LeBron James and Stephen Curry. However, this year’s event has a couple of exciting new picks that will be making their all-star debut.

The starting lineups of the Western and Eastern conferences were announced on January 27, with the inclusion of some names being very predictable and some rather surprising. The list is as follows:

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, with this being his 18th time being picked as an all-star player. (western, captain)

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, 12th. (eastern, captain)

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, 8th. (western)

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, 6th. (eastern)

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls, 5th. (eastern)

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, 5th. (eastern)

Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets, 4th. (western)

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks, 2nd. (eastern)

Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors, 1st. (western)

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies, 1st. (western)

Wiggins and Morant have been selected for the first time in their careers after both being named Rookie of the Year in the 2014-15 and 2019-20 seasons respectively. As the only Canadian on the all-star roster, and the third Canadian ever selected as an all-star, hopefully Wiggins will make us proud!

As of this article being written, the reserves have yet to be announced. As another quick refresher, after the starters are selected, the reserves are selected to fill in the remaining spots on both teams. However, unlike the democratic selection process of the starting roster in which fans and the media are directly involved in picking players, the reserves are selected by the NBA’s head coaches.

As I have no idea who will be selected for the reserves, I’ve jotted down a few predictions:

Luka Dončić: scoring and ball-handling expert; one of the best offensive players in the league right now. (Dallas Mavericks)
Klay Thompson: incredibly talented shooter, with his and Stephen Curry’s chemistry being some of the strongest in the league and instrumental to the team’s recent success. (Golden State Warriors)
LaMelo Ball: exceptionally talented rookie with phenomenal scoring power for his age. (Charlotte Hornets)
Fred VanVleet: all-around excellent defender and teammate; in all honesty, this is just wishful thinking from a diehard Raptors fan…

This game will be the second one to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is unclear as to how many restrictions will be in place this year. Regardless, for those of us (including me, unfortunately) who can’t make it to Cleveland this February, the game will be televised live as always. Who will win, Team James or Team Durant? Will Curry make physics-defying shots with or without Thompson? Will the Raptors get some love this year? Find out at the 2022 NBA all-star game.

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