The Los Angeles Lakers have their All-Star. LeBron James will be making the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina for the 2019 NBA All-Star game after leading the league in fan votes (finishing with 4,620,809) for the second consecutive season. James also led all Western Conference frontcourt players in media votes and player votes.
As a result, he will once again be one of the two team captains for the All-Star game alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
It’s only been three years since the Lakers had someone in the All-Star game, but when Kobe Bryant led the NBA in All-Star votes in 2016, it wasn’t because he was playing at an All-Star level, it was because it was his last one. Dwyane Wade will probably make the All-Star game this year for the same reason.
James, on the other hand, is still really, really freaking good at basketball.
Through 34 games this season, James has averaged 27.3 points per game on 51.8 percent shooting from the field to go along with 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The only players that have come close to those averages this season are Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant.
It’s easy to forget just how good James is because he hasn’t played a game in over a month, but when he’s healthy and motivated, he’s the baddest man on the planet.
James will get the first pick in the NBA All-Star draft on Feb. 7, which will be televised this year thanks to the public support of James and a few his colleagues around the league. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to take Anthony Davis with the first pick because he wasn’t named a starter.
However, he can take one of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard. I’m sure the internet would react rationally to either of those options.
Beyond his involvement as a captain, it’s unclear how much James will participate in the game, assuming he does at all. James has missed the last 14 games for the Lakers and while he is expected to make his return soon, there’s a possibility he will play it safe and limit his involvement in the contest.
The actual All-Star game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17, and while the reserves haven’t been announced yet, there’s little reason to believe any of James’ teammates will be joining him.