To the shock of literally no one, Los Angeles Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis will start in the 2020 NBA All-Star game. James finished with the most votes of anyone in the Western Conference, and as a result will serve as one of the game’s captains for the third year in a row (and every year the NBA has used this current system). This is James’ 16th All-Star start, breaking a tie with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant (15). He still trails Bryant (18) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) for overall selections.
It will be the second game in a row in which James will pick teams against Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with the most overall votes in the Eastern Conference. The draft will take place on Feb. 6.
But despite pleas from both head coach Frank Vogel and Davis himself, a couple of fan-favorite Lakers were less lucky. Alex Caruso and Dwight Howard were high in the NBA’s fan voting — which counted for 50% of the vote for the starters — but did not get enough votes from their fellow players and the media, who each got 25% of the vote, respectively.
Here were the final voting returns. Alex Caruso finished fourth among west guards, while Dwight was 10th in the frontcourt. pic.twitter.com/RTjVR7b3K6— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) January 24, 2020
Coaches choose the reserves that will be revealed next week on TNT — you can view the full rules and process here — and are unlikely to pick Howard and Caruso over (frankly) more-deserving players. Combine that with the players and media balancing out the fan vote, and you have the reasons why Caruso or Howard making the game was never a likely outcome, making the disingenuous and misinformed “controversy” over their (especially Caruso’s) hilarious levels popularity all the more overdramatic and lame in retrospect.
For Caruso’s part, this is likely something of a relief, because he sounds as ready as anyone for the saga to be over. In Howard’s case, he’s still set to participate in the weekend during the Slam Dunk Contest, an event he hopes Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will give him an assist in.
NBA All-Star Weekend will take place in Chicago from Feb. 14-16, with the actual All-Star Game happening on the Sunday. The Slam Dunk Contest and other events (such as the 3-point contest) will take place on the Saturday night, with the Celebrity Game and Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.
This story will be updated with more information on the voting, and reactions to it. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.