LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is a captain and an All-Star starter — again.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will choose his own teammates as the other captain.
And Hornets guard Kemba Walker is about to make his first All-Star start, on his home floor in Charlotte.
While there were perhaps mild surprises, there were no real stunners during Thursday night's unveiling of the starters for the NBA All-Star Game that will be played in Charlotte on Feb. 17.
The starting guards from the East are Boston's Kyrie Irving and Walker. The East frontcourt picks were Antetokounmpo, Toronto's Kawhi Leonard and Philadelphia's Joel Embiid. From the West, Stephen Curry and reigning NBA MVP James Harden were the picks at guard, with James, Golden State's Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City's Paul George getting the frontcourt spots.
James, who has been out for a month with a groin injury but is nearing a return, extended his own record by getting picked as a starter for the 15th consecutive year. He was also a captain last year in the first usage of this captain's-choice format — and just like last year, James will have the No. 1 pick when he and Antetokounmpo get together on Feb. 7 to choose their 12-man teams.
Oladipo has ruptured tendon
Victor Oladipo's season is over. The Indiana Pacers intend to make sure his injury doesn't derail theirs, too.
After learning the All-Star guard faces season-ending surgery for a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee, Oladipo's teammates quickly banded together in hopes of surprising the NBA again.
"It's very, very tough to see this happen to a guy who is so positive and means so much to this team," co-captain Thaddeus Young said Thursday. "But we can't just go be sad. We have to go out and grind out wins and stay together through thick and thin."
Around the league
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was fined $25,000 for escalating an on-court altercation by pushing Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng in the face. NBA discipline executive Kiki VanDeWeghe handed down the fine. … The Brooklyn Nets say guard Spencer Dinwiddie is being evaluated for a right thumb injury. … New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic will be out for at least a week with a right calf strain.