Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks third in first round of All-Star voting returns

Feb 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA (Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA (Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports) /

The first round of NBA All-Star voting has surfaced and a familiar face to all Milwaukee Bucks fans stands near the top of the East.

As the NBA announced the first round for this year’s NBA All-Star voting Thursday afternoon, Giannis Antetokounmpo stands second in the Eastern Conference with 1,752185 votes, trailing only Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant in this regard, and third overall. The league-leading vote getter is unsurprisingly Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

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As of this writing, no other Bucks players rank in the top 10 of voting, all of which is currently being contributed by fans and will account 50 percent of the voting for this year’s starters. Both media and players will combine for the remaining 50 percent of voting, as is the case every year.

Bucks fans have until February 16 to make their voices heard on making Antetokounmpo the leading vote getter in the East after he has done so the last two seasons.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is tracking towards his fifth consecutive All-Star selection.

Of course, the first round of All-Star voting is coming after the NBA and the NBPA have reportedly agreed to host an All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA had originally planned not to hold any All-Star festivities, which would have been held in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Obviously plans have changed on that front and instead, the league will have a single night event that will also feature skills competitions. Along with that, there will be a charity angle as part of the game that will benefit historically black colleges and universities as part of a COVID-19 relief fund as recently reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

One other big change that’s been reported on is that the All-Star Game will revert back to the East vs. West format rather than holding an All-Star Draft, which Antetokounmpo had participated in as a captain the last two seasons. So while Antetokounmpo isn’t even in position to be a captain this season, we wouldn’t even be seeing an encore of the 26-year-old participating in an All-Star Draft and avenging his two losses as a captain.

This all comes after Antetokounmpo compiled his third triple-double of the season in the Bucks’ 130-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night. With the clear comfort he’s showing in the Bucks’ new offensive system, Antetokounmpo is being unlocked in ways we haven’t seen previously over his eight-year career.

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At this rate, Antetokounmpo will have his fifth straight All-Star selection under his belt. Whether Antetokounmpo will have any teammates join him in Atlanta remains to be seen and it will likely come by way of the coaches vote for this year’s All-Star reserves.