Lakers forward LeBron James made more NBA history on Thursday when he became the first player to be named to 20 All-Star teams with his selection to the Western Conference starters for the game that will be played in Indianapolis on Feb. 18.
James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most All-Star selections in league history. James will be joined in the starting lineup with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
“I give credit and a lot of respect to my fans who have been along with me through this whole 21-year journey,” Jame said Thursday after he had produced 25 points and 12 assists. “And voting me in as an All-Star starter for the 20th consecutive time. Just very humbled. Very blessed to be able to do what I love to do and just try to give back, give back to the game that’s given to me over two decades. So, to be able to know this is the first time ever in NBA history to have this many All-Star starts or whatever the case might be, it’s very cool.”
James and his West All-Star teammates will face Eastern Conference starters Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, center Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, forward Jayson Tatum of Boston, guard Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana and guard Damian Lillard of Milwaukee.
James, who passed Abdul-Jabbar last season to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, is averaging 24.8 points per game, 7.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists.
“I’ve exceeded expectations in my career,” James said. “It’s just humbling and it’s very cool to continue to have accomplishments throughout your career, but I’ve exceeded anything further than what I ever dreamed about being in the NBA. And I did that a long time ago. Everything else is just kind of extra credit. I’m very humbled by still being able to play the game I love and have these accomplishments along the way.”