KAWHI LEONARD VOTED AS STARTER FOR 2019 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

The NBA announced Thursday that forward Kawhi Leonard was voted a starter for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte. He finished second in fan, media and player voting among Eastern Conference forwards with a weighted score of 1.75. Leonard was also selected as an All-Star starter during the 2016 festivities in Toronto and 2017 in New Orleans.

Leonard becomes the sixth player in franchise history to earn an All-Star selection, joining Vince Carter (5X), Chris Bosh (5X), DeMar DeRozan (4X), Kyle Lowry (4X) and Antonio Davis. His selection also extends a streak of five consecutive years that a Raptor has been voted into the starting five – Lowry (2015, 2016) and DeRozan (2017, 2018).

A native of Los Angeles, Leonard currently ranks fifth in NBA scoring averaging a career-best 27.6 points and 7.9 rebounds through 36 games this season. He posted a career-high 45 points Jan. 1 vs. Utah and was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice this season (Nov. 26-Dec. 2 and Jan. 7-13). Leonard has led the Raptors in scoring 31 times and ranks second on the team with 11 double-doubles. He was selected 15th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft and played his first seven seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before being acquired this past summer by Toronto.

As the All-Star starters who led their respective conferences in fan votes during NBA All-Star Voting 2019 presented by Google, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will serve as team captains and draft the All-Star Game rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.

The captains will draft the eight remaining players from the starter pool in the First Round and then all 14 players from the reserve pool in the Second Round, making selections without regard to a player’s conference affiliation or position.  The team rosters for the 68th NBA All-Star Game will be revealed on TNT in a special NBA All-Star Draft Show on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.  TNT and ESPN Radio will air the game live in the United States.  NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the NBA All-Star Game starters, while current NBA players and a media panel accounted for 25 percent each.  James (4,620,809 fan votes) and Antetokounmpo (4,375,747 fan votes) led their respective conferences and position groups in fan voting.  Irving (3,881,766 fan votes) and Curry (3,861,038 fan votes) also topped their respective position groups in fan voting.

After all votes were tallied, players were ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.

Fan votes served as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score.  George won the tiebreaker with the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis for the third starting spot in the Western Conference frontcourt group.

Below are the overall scores – based on results from all three voting groups – for the top finishers at each position.  Each player’s score is weighted based on 50 percent for fan vote, 25 percent for player vote and 25 percent for media vote.  The formula to determine a player’s score is (Fan Rank * 2 + Player Rank + Media Rank)/4.

Eastern Conference Western Conference
Kyrie Irving, Boston Stephen Curry, Golden State
Kemba Walker, Charlotte James Harden, Houston
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Kevin Durant, Golden State
Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Paul George, Oklahoma City
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia LeBron James, L.A. Lakers