After much voting and anticipation, the 2019 All-Star starters from the East and West have officially been announced.
In the West, the first returns on the voting ballots drew some major red flags at first. Some big names were being left off the list. In that regard, it seems things reverted back to normal. Here is the official starting 5:
Western Conference All-Stars
LeBron James (captain), Kevin Durant, Paul George, Steph Curry, and James Harden. Besides a few absent names, it's a pretty rock-solid list. Most notably, you could make a case for Russell Westbrook or Nikola Jokic should have been included, but they'll no doubt be added in as part of the reserves.
Out East, Kemba Walker got some well overdue recognition by the fans, being named a starter for the first time in his career. As for the rest, well, it's exactly who we expected. Here's the starting roster:
Eastern Conference All-Stars
Giannis Antetokounmpo (captain), Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker. As a starter, Giannis has essentially been hailed as the East's new ruler, while Embiid and Kawhi find themselves being richly rewarded for their team's monumental success.
As the team captains, James and Giannis will get to pick their squads, a new twist added by the league last year. It will be fun to see how things turn out in the end. And with the reserves set to be announced on January 31st, some noise is bound to be made if some fan favorites (like Derrick Rose) fail to make it in at all.