LeBron James is closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA profession scoring report. And now, he has caught Abdul-Jabbar on one other web page of the All-Star report e book.
James was introduced Thursday as an NBA All-Star for the nineteenth time, the Los Angeles Lakers’ star tying Abdul-Jabbar for probably the most alternatives in league historical past. James — the main general vote-getter — would be the captain of one of many groups for the Feb. 19 All-Star Recreation in Salt Lake Metropolis, whereas Jap Convention voting chief Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will captain the opposite aspect.
That is the sixth yr the NBA has used the captain format for the All-Star Recreation; James has been a captain each time and has by no means misplaced, taking a 5-0 report into this yr. Antetokounmpo is a captain for the third time, after additionally incomes that proper in 2019 and 2020.
James and Antetokounmpo will choose their groups shortly earlier than the sport in Salt Lake Metropolis, a newly announced twist and a departure from previous years through which the captains picked per week or two upfront of All-Star weekend.
The opposite eight starters they’ll be selecting from, barring any modifications due to harm beforehand, are: Denver’s two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, NBA scoring chief Luka Doncic of Dallas, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Brooklyn teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell and New Orleans’ Zion Williamson.
The large intrigue was the third East frontcourt spot, the place Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was the odd man out after Antetokounmpo, Durant and Tatum had been the highest three within the balloting.
Starters — three frontcourt gamers and two guards from every convention — had been chosen by a mix of three completely different votes: fan balloting counted for 50%, media balloting was value 25% and voting by the NBA’s gamers made up the ultimate 25%.
The reserves, that are chosen by votes from the league’s coaches, can be introduced Feb. 2. Among the many gamers sure to advantage sturdy consideration: Portland’s Damian Lillard, Oklahoma Metropolis’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Miami’s Bam Adebayo.
James is 157 factors away from Abdul-Jabbar’s profession scoring whole of 38,387 factors. At his present common of 29.9 factors per sport, James will want simply over 5 video games to interrupt the report – and, if he doesn’t miss any video games within the interim, can be on tempo to go Abdul-Jabbar in a Feb. 7 dwelling sport towards Oklahoma Metropolis.
And meaning the All-Star weekend, if James passes the report beforehand, could possibly be a celebration of his breaking a report that Abdul-Jabbar has held for practically 40 years.
“Calculating out when it’d occur, it appears at this level it’s prone to occur earlier than our All-Star break,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated final week in Paris. “If it had been to occur earlier than our All-Star break, it looks as if the All-Star Recreation this yr, which is in Salt Lake Metropolis, could be the excellent alternative to honor him.”
James is now tied with Abdul-Jabbar for many All-Star alternatives, and if James performs in Salt Lake Metropolis he’ll change into the primary participant in NBA historical past to really seem in 19 All-Star video games. Abdul-Jabbar was chosen to the 1973 sport however didn’t play.
That’ll be simply one other entry on an extended checklist of All-Star information for James. He’s the primary participant to be chosen to 19 consecutive All-Star video games — till Thursday, he shared that report with 18-time-selection Kobe Bryant, the Lakers legend who died Jan. 26, 2020, precisely three years to the date from Thursday.
If he begins, it’ll be James’ nineteenth time doing so, 4 greater than Bryant. The 19 begins in a row extends one other All-Star report; Bob Cousy has the second-longest such streak, having began 13 straight. James is also the profession All-Star chief in minutes, factors, discipline objectives made and discipline objectives tried.
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