Amidst a demanding travel schedule, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers values the importance of spending quality time with his loved ones, taking full advantage of the team’s six-game homestand.
Under the caption “She’s out of her mind!”, James took to Instagram to share some adorable moments from a special lunch date with his daughter Zhuri. As his little one carefully stacked French fries on top of each other, the NBA icon, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, couldn’t contain his laughter. Adding a boomerang to his Instagram post, he simply wrote, “My lunch date.” In their most recent game, the Lakers lost to the Clippers 116-127, with LeBron James sitting out due to discomfort in his left ankle. This loss marks the Lakers’ fourth consecutive defeat on the road, bringing their overall record to 22-23.
The upcoming game for the Lakers will be against the Chicago Bulls, who have a record of 21-24.
It’s worth noting that LeBron James has been selected to the NBA All-Star team a remarkable 20 times, while Kevin Durant has achieved the feat 14 times.
In this year’s NBA All-Star Game, LeBron James will not only be surrounded by familiar faces but has also entered an exclusive group.
The league recently announced the starter balloting results, and James was chosen to be part of the All-Star team and start in every game for the 20th time. Not only does James have the most All-Star appearances in NBA history, but he has surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 19 selections. Impressive as it is, James broke Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record last season.
The All-Star event will be hosted by Indianapolis on February 18th.
Joining James in the starting lineup for the All-Star Game will be Kevin Durant from the Phoenix Suns, Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets, Luka Doncic from the Dallas Mavericks, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gilgeous-Alexander, who leads the league in 30-point games this season, claimed the final backcourt spot in the western conference, beating out Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who is a perennial All-Star starter. Durant now joins an elite group of eleven players in NBA history who have achieved this feat, with 14 All-Star selections to his name.
In the Eastern Conference’s frontcourt, we will see Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks, Jayson Tatum from the Boston Celtics, and Joel Embiid from the Philadelphia 76ers. Embiid currently leads the NBA in scoring and is the two-time defending champion and reigning MVP. Tatum, last year’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), set an All-Star Game record with 55 points in the game held in Salt Lake City.
The Eastern Conference guards will consist of Damian Lillard from the Milwaukee Bucks and Tyrese Haliburton from the Indiana Pacers, who will start when playing at home.
“I am always grateful,” said Tatum in an interview with TNT before Boston’s game in Miami, where he revealed the starting lineup. It’s truly an honor for fans to vote for me repeatedly, especially considering there are 450 players in the league. I never take it for granted. It’s amazing to be able to fulfill my lifelong dream of attending All-Star weekend in person.
Several notable players were not included in the starting lineup, including Curry, Jaylen Brown from Boston, Jalen Brunson from New York, Trae Young from Atlanta, Donovan Mitchell from Cleveland, Bam Adebayo from Miami, Anthony Davis from the Los Angeles Lakers, De’Aaron Fox from Sacramento, Devin Booker from Phoenix, Kawhi Leonard from the Los Angeles Clippers, Tyrese Maxey from Philadelphia, and Anthony Edwards from Minnesota.
The selection of the starting lineup follows a method where fan votes account for 50%, player votes for 25%, and a panel of NBA writers and broadcasters for the remaining 25%.
The reserves for the All-Star teams will be revealed on February 1st after a vote from the head coaches in the league. If any player is unable to play due to injury or other reasons, Commissioner Adam Silver has the authority to add replacements to the rosters.
Being named to the All-Star team for twenty seasons is a rare accomplishment in the major professional sports in the United States. LeBron James stands as the pioneer in the NBA with this achievement. In addition to James, hockey legend Gordie Howe and baseball greats Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays have all been named to their respective All-Star games for twenty-one seasons.
Howe was selected for the NHL All-Star Game 23 times, while Aaron, Mays, and Musial achieved the feat in the MLB All-Star game. Mickey Mantle also participated in 20 baseball All-Star games throughout his 16 seasons. Some seasons even had two All-Star tournaments.
This year’s NBA All-Star Game will maintain the East vs. West format, as it has for the past 66 midseason classics. James has been a captain in all six of them, Antetokounmpo has been a captain three times, Durant twice, and Curry once. In the most recent six games, the top vote-getters from each conference served as captains and chose their teams.
This year, the ‘target score’ model used in the previous four All-Star Games, which had an untimed fourth quarter, will no longer be used. Instead, the winning team will be the one that scores the same amount as the leading team after three quarters, plus an additional 24 points as a tribute to Kobe Bryant’s final jersey number. There will be no special rules or overtime this year, just a regular game.
Before the season began, league officials emphasized the importance of raising the level of competition in the All-Star Game. Last year, the game had its lowest viewership since SportsMediaWatch began tracking the data with an average of 4.6 million viewers on TNT and TBS.
“Just when you turn on an NBA All-Star Game, people expect to see some competition,” said Joe Dumars, the league’s EVP and Head of Basketball Operations, before the season started.