LeBron James' 18th straight selection headlines NBA's 2022 All-Star Game starters

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Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who led his hometown Cavaliers to their only championship, headlined Thursday's announcement of the starters for the NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland on Feb. 20.

The selection marked the 18th of James' career, tying him with Kobe Bryant for the second-most in league history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of 19. The 37-year-old James has started every All-Star Game since 2005, his second season in the NBA, winning the exhibition's MVP award on three occasions.

James has served as one of the game's two captains every year since the NBA stopped pitting the Eastern Conference against the West and instituted a playground-style draft in 2018. Kevin Durant joined James as his conference's leading vote-getter and the exhibition's other captain for a second consecutive season.

James and Durant will draft their teams live on TNT on Feb. 10. They will pick first from the pool of starters named on Thursday before choosing from the 14 reserves, whose selections will be announced on Feb. 3.

The NBA on Thursday announced the following starters for next month's All-Star Game. (Fans, media and current players voted between Christmas and this past Saturday for three frontcourt and two backcourt players from each conference. Fans accounted for 50% of the vote. Players and media split the other 50%. Here's how Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill and Chris Haynes voted.)

Eastern Conference

F: Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (captain)

  • Statistics: 29.3 PPG (52/37/89), 7.4 RPG, 5.8 APG

  • All-Star selection: 12th

F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

  • Statistics: 28.6 PPG (53/28/72), 11.2 RPG, 6.0 APG

  • All-Star selection: Sixth

C: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

  • Statistics: 29.0 PPG (50/38/82), 10.8 RPG, 4.3 APG

  • All-Star selection: Fifth

G: DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

  • Statistics: 26.4 PPG (50/33/86), 5.0 RPG, 4.8 APG

  • All-Star selection: Fifth

G: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

  • Statistics: 27.7 PPG (45/38/90), 3.9 RPG, 9.3 APG

  • All-Star selection: Second

Western Conference

F: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (captain)

  • Statistics: 29.1 PPG (57/37/81), 7.7 RPG, 6.3 APG

  • All-Star selection: 18th

C: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

  • Statistics: 26.2 PPG (49/40/87), 13.8 RPG, 7.6 APG

  • All-Star selection: Fourth

F: Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors

  • Statistics: 18.1 PPG (48/40/67), 4.2 RPG, 2.0 APG

  • All-Star selection: First

G: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

  • Statistics: 25.8 PPG (42/37/91), 5.4 RPG, 6.2 APG

  • All-Star selection: Eighth

G: Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Statistics: 25.8 PPG (49/36/77), 5.9 RPG, 6.9 APG

  • All-Star selection: First

Coaches will pick the game's reserves next week.

Like last year, when an injured Durant still drafted his team, the Nets superstar is expected to miss this year's game as a result of a recent knee injury, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. When Durant withdraws, he will be replaced as a starter with the Eastern Conference frontcourt player who finished next-highest in the voting. NBA commissioner Adam Silver will determine Durant's replacement from the East.

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James winks.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was selected to the 18th All-Star Game of his career, tying him with Kobe Bryant for the second-most all-time. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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