The NBA announced the results of the first returns of All-Star voting and a Dallas Maverick is leading all players. Luka Doncic, the 20-year-old Slovenian sensation, tallied a whopping 1,073,957 votes, out-pacing all other All-Star hopefuls.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James fall in line behind Doncic, with each also totaling more than one million votes in the early running. The players who receive the most fan votes from each conference are named All-Star team captains.
Last year, Doncic received the third most fan votes, 4,375,747, behind Antetokounmpo and James but was not named an All-Star—a mistake by the league. He did, however, participate in a number of activities during All-Star Weekends, including the Rising Stars Game and the Skills Challenge.
Also making an appearance in the early voting is Doncic’s teammate Kristaps Porzingis. He sits in sixth place among Western Conference frontcourt players with 171,749 votes, ahead of Nikola Jokic, who is arguably one of the best centers in the league.
If the current voting is any indication of what’s to come, Doncic could be an All-Star team captain come February. It would behoove the NBA not to repeat their error from last season in omitting Doncic again. The fan votes show just how popular he is. And after all, the All-Star game is little more than a popularity contest.