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LeBron passes Luka in race for Western Conference All-Star captain

Jason Owens

The hottest race in NBA All-Star voting will be for the Western Conference captaincy.

And after trailing second-year phenom Luka Doncic in the initial round of voting, LeBron James has taken back his familiar post as the top vote-getter not only in the conference, but in the NBA.

James edges Doncic

The NBA released its second round of fan voting on Thursday, and James leads the way with 3,359,871 votes. He edges Doncic’s 3,277,870 votes for the most in the conference and the league.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the East and comes in third overall with 3,259,383 votes.

Antetokounmpo has more than a million more votes than second-place Joel Embiid in the East and appears on track to a landslide captaincy selection.

But whomever garners the most votes out of the West will likely pick teams alongside Antetokounmpo for the Feb. 16 All-Star game in Chicago, and the race looks headed to the wire.

Reminder: How the new All-Star format works

Twelve players from each conference will be named All-Stars with captains choosing from among the player pool to build their own teams. Starters are chosen by a combination of fan, player and media voting, with coaches choosing the reserves. Fan voting counts for 50 percent of the overall vote and determines the captains.

The race for All-Star captaincy between LeBron James and Luka Doncic is red hot. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The race for All-Star captaincy between LeBron James and Luka Doncic is red hot. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Tacko Fall, Alex Caruso still in play

The first round saw surprise nominees Tacko Fall and Alex Caruso each make the top 10 in their respective categories. They’re both still going strong.

Fall, the 7-6 rookie Boston Celtics center who’s played 21 minutes all season is the sixth-leading vote getter among Eastern Conference frontcourt players. Caruso, the Los Angeles Lakers reserve guard who averages 5.5 points and two rebounds per game, comes in sixth among Western Conference guards.

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