NBA Hoops

Tough calls, no-brainers and the tall task of selecting 2023 NBA All-Star starters

Dan Devine's 2023 NBA All-Star starters selections. (Graphic by Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

Dan Devine’s 2023 NBA All-Star starters selections. (Graphic by Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

For the fourth straight year, the decision-makers in the league office offered me a chance to be one of the media members who votes on which players should start in the NBA All-Star Game. (Reminder: Fan voting makes up 50% of the final result, with player and media ballots accounting for 25% each.) I accepted, because this one time a T-shirt told me that if I didnโ€™t vote, I would die, and I donโ€™t know about you guys, but I listen to laundry.

Iโ€™m also a glutton for punishment who simply canโ€™t resist the opportunity to feel guilty about being forced to leave multiple deserving players off a ballot that only has space for three โ€œfrontcourtโ€ players and two guards in each conference. So, without further ado: Letโ€™s work hard, feel bad and make Diddy proud. (All stats and records used entering Wednesdayโ€™s games.)

Western Conference

FC Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

FC Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings

FC LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

G Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder

As a sentient being reading about basketball in 2023, you probably donโ€™t need to be convinced that Jokic deserves a spot; Iโ€™ve also written a bunch about Jokic and Denver recently, so I wonโ€™t make too big a meal out of this. Suffice it to say that when youโ€™re one-tenth of an assist away from averaging a 25-point triple-double with the NBAโ€™s second-highest true shooting percentage, youโ€™re leading the league in a frankly hilarious number of advanced metrics, youโ€™ve arguably been even more efficient and effective than you were in winning the last two MVP trophies, and youโ€™re the best player on the No. 1 seed in your conference, weโ€™re writing your name on the ballot in Sharpie.

Ditto for Doncic, who roared out of the starting blocks looking like the best player in the world through the seasonโ€™s first month and hasnโ€™t really slowed down, despite a workload that even his head coach canโ€™t believe. Luka leads the league in scoring and ranks fifth in assist points created, serving as the every-possession engine of a top-five offense that has kept Dallas steady through some rough patches. Heโ€™s not solely responsible for the Mavs sitting just a couple of games out of home-court advantage in the West; with all due respect to Christian Wood and Spencer Dinwiddie, though, heโ€™s not far off. His was the second name I locked into place on…

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