The NBA couldn’t make the same mistake twice. After snubbing Luka Doncic last year, the Dallas Mavericks’ young star will make his first appearance in the All-Star game in just his second season. Not only that, the fans voted him in as a starter.
Doncic totaled the second most votes overall and in the Western Conference, trailing only LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo led all vote getters in the Eastern Conference. James and Antetokounmpo will be the All-Star Team captains.
After the NBA released the first round of returns, Doncic had the most votes. He led Antetokounmpo, who had the second most votes, by a mere 599 votes—1,073,957 to 1,073,358. James was in a distant third at the time.
Thanks to a strong push from Lakers fans to get Alex Caruso into the game, James was eventually able to surpass Doncic in the voting. There’s a reason James calls him the GOAT.
This season, Doncic is playing at an MVP-caliber level that has elevated him into an elite status in the league. He’s averaging 29.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and nine assists while shooting 46.6 percent overall.
The All-Star Game won’t be the only thing that Doncic participates in during his time in Chicago. He will also take part in the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest on Saturday night. Doncic is shooting 32.7 percent from behind the arc this season.
We don’t know if any of Doncic’s teammates will join him during All-Star Weekend. Kristaps Porzingis has a chance at becoming a reserve. He was in seventh place among West forwards with 774,056 votes after the league released the totals from the third round of voting. All-Star reserves will be named January 30.
Last year, Doncic tallied 4,375,747 votes, third most behind James and Antetokounmpo. It wasn’t enough, however, as the league didn’t see fit to have him participate in the All-Star Game after the players and media cast their votes. The NBA couldn’t deny him this year.