When Is the NBA All-Star Game? Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid Among Early Vote Leaders as Post-LeBron Generation Makes Mark

LeBron James still reigns supreme atop the NBA, even at 33. Behind James, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant vie to be the superstar of this generation.

This year’s NBA All-Star voting, though, has shown that the generation beyond that may be foremost in the minds of fans.

NBA.com released the first fan returns on Thursday night. The Western Conference seems to be predictable enough so far, with Durant leading Warriors teammate Curry by 32,287 votes.

In the East, the all-court game of Giannis Antetokounmpo has proved most popular so far. The Bucks’ ‘Greek Freak’, who ranks second in the NBA behind Harden in points-per-game, leads James by 7,336 votes among frontcourt players. Behind Antetokounmpo and James are two more of the post-post-James generation—the 76ers’ charismatic center Joel Embiid and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks. Embiid has earned popularity both for his play and his engaging personality in a rebuilding 76ers team that figures to be among the Eastern Conference’s best over the next few years.

Fan votes, worth 50 percent, are added to media and current players’ votes to make up the pool of All-Star players. There’s no traditional East vs. West game this year—instead, the two captains will pick from the entire pool of players voted in by fans, media and their peers.

There could be some awkward reunions. Kyrie Irving is in third place overall in the East after 12 days of voting, while Russell Westbrook is third among guards in the West. Irving left James and the Cavaliers in the summer while Durant controversially chose to leave Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 for the Warriors.

The 2018 NBA All-Star game takes place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday February 18.