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Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard among starters; LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo named captains

26 January 2019

The reserves will be named on January 31, with the player draft taking place February 7.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is a captain and an All-Star starter - again.

The starters for the 2019 NBA All-Star game were officially announced on Thursday, with the usual suspects like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo taking top billing.

- Kawhi Leonard, Raptors (3rd All-Star selection): Voted to start for the third time, Leonard gives Toronto an All-Star Game starter for the fifth consecutive year. Captains are chosen, and then voting selects the starting lineups of each team by conference. Rose hasn't made an All-Star team since 2012. From there, James and Antetokounmpo will choose the rest of their 12-man rosters, with conference affiliations irrelevant.

- Kyrie Irving, Celtics (6th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the sixth time in eight seasons, the 2014 NBA All-Star MVP received the most fan votes among Eastern Conference guards for the third year in a row.

James, who has been out for a month with a groin injury but is nearing a return, extended his own record by getting picked as a starter for the 15th consecutive year. Let's answer that and other key questions from Thursday's announcement.

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There's still a chance Rose can make the team if coaches vote for him as a reserve.

Wade is one of four still-active past All-Star MVPs waiting to see if an All-Star nod is coming.

"It doesn't matter to me", Wade said last week of the possibility of playing in the All-Star Game.

The seven reserve spots include three frontcourt players, two guards and two additional players regardless of position.

George won a tiebreaker over New Orleans' Anthony Davis for the final West front-court starting spot.

Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard among starters; LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo named captains