The initial returns on All-Star voting were released on Thursday morning by the NBA with multiple Lakers scattered around the top 10 in frontcourt and backcourt. Most notably, LeBron James was the leading vote-getter in the Western Conference and overall with Kevin Durant trailing behind him as the leader in the Eastern Conference.
Lakers’ LeBron James and Nets’ Kevin Durant lead the NBA’s first 2022-23 All-Star fan voting returns: pic.twitter.com/ObI4WQjnuH— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 5, 2023
Anthony Davis is third in the Western Conference in frontcourt voting and seventh overall in votes. Based on the initial returns, the Lakers would have a pair of starters in the All-Star game once again.
Both Davis and LeBron have certainly had All-Star caliber seasons, if not better, this year. The problem for the Lakers is that they have come at separate stints of the year and with the other injured, leaving them four games under .500 as a result.
Outside of the leading vote-getters, the Lakers also had other names in the top 10. Russell Westbrook is sixth among backcourt players in the Western Conference. As a popular player and a Laker, there is a certain amount of votes he would always get but in comparison to last season, Westbrook received over twice as many votes in the initial release.
Easily the most important takeaway from the voting release, though, is that Austin Reaves is inside the top 10. There is no greater example of the dedication of Lakers fans than a reserve guard sitting ahead of Jordan Poole and countless other starting guards, and only a few hundred thousand votes behind Devin Booker and Damian Lillard.
Reaves has certainly had a fantastic season and actually probably should be a regular starter for the Lakers. An All-Star caliber season? Yeah, no. But that’s the fun of fan voting is that a player like Reaves can be top 10 in the votes.
There will be a handful of “3-for-1 Days” with votes counting for three times on Jan. 6, Jan. 13, Jan. 16 and Jan. 20. Unlike previous years, fans cannot vote on Twitter, which means you have to fill out an actual ballot online, which can be found here.
The All-Star game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City. Voting ends on Jan. 21 with starters announced Jan. 26 and the reserves will be announced Feb. 2.