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Giannis leads NBA in All-Star votes at final update

Damian Lillard is third among East guards

Sacramento Kings v Milwaukee Bucks

Yesterday afternoon, the NBA released its third update in this year’s All-Star voting, ahead of next month’s game in Indianapolis on February 18th, and once again, a player who makes his bones in little ole Milwaukee, WI for the Bucks leads all candidates:

While the NBA does some stuff with votes counting three-for-one and such, for a little perspective, there are around 1.6m people in the Milwaukee metro area and 5.9m in the state of Wisconsin. However you look at it, 4.3 million votes is impressive: it tops longtime superstar LeBron James and is nearly twice the total of Steph Curry, who is arguably even more beloved.

Meanwhile, Damian Lillard is not far back of Atlanta’s Trae Young among Eastern Conference guards, and with some votes counting for double/triple in the coming days, may surpass the Hawk. However, being one of the top two (or three, in the case of frontcourt players) vote-getters doesn’t guarantee a player a starting spot. As seen in the tweet above, the fan vote encompasses half of the decision. The rest is from the players and media. So if Dame finishes in third or below in the eyes of one or both of those blocs, he may not start. In that case, he’ll hope to be selected as a reserve by the coaches.

As a reminder, the rosters reverted back to their old format of East vs. West this year, so while Giannis may still be the “captain,” he won’t be drafting his twelve-man group again. The starters will be revealed next Thursday evening at 6 PM Central on TNT, and the reserves will be announced one week later on February 1. If you want to give Dame and Giannis some more help—or vote for any other Bucks—you can do so here until voting closes just before 11 PM Central tomorrow. Apparently, votes count triple today.