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Hey, you're an All-Star!

Time flies so fast. It seems as if the National Basketball Association's (NBA) 2017-2018 season had just started and, look, we're almost halfway into the regular season.

The watershed event that signals a merciful break from all the home, away and back-to-back games is the All-Star Weekend-that three-day holiday when everyone lets his hair down, takes things easy and plays for fun. For one weekend, at least, competition is of the friendly kind. Scores don't count on the cumulative scoreboard. And everyone has a good time. Especially the fans.

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game this February will be the 67th edition and will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California-home of the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers. On hand to take the fans through the games and the various competitions and festivities are NBA announcers Marv Albert, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley.

TNT will televise the midseason showcase at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, marking Turner Sports's 33rd year of NBA All-Star coverage.

But who will play in this year's game? If you said LeBron James, yes, that's true. But did you know that, based on the early returns of the All-Star voting, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is the frontrunner this year in the All-Star voting?

Antetokounmpo received 863,416 votes to edge the Cleveland Cavaliers's James (856,080) by 7,336 votes for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and overall after the first 12 days of fan voting. In the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors's Kevin Durant leads with 767,402 votes, and teammate Stephen Curry is next with 735,115-a difference of 32,287 votes.

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (433,161) and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks (359,459) are running after The Greek Freak and The King in the East. As for the East guards, four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics leads with 802,834 votes, followed by three-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors (259,368) and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers (251,886).

At the top of the West frontcourt are Durant of the Golden State Warriors, Anthony Davis (393,000) and three-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins (356,340) of the New Orleans Pelicans, followed by the Warriors' Draymond Green (325,612). Among the West guards, James Harden (602,040) is running after Curry in the slate, followed by reigning Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (438,469).

Under a new All-Star Game format, the team rosters will be chosen by two captains from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes.

More than ever before, basketball fans have a say in the final lineup and status of East and West players on their teams. Players and selected media will cast their all-important votes, but fans from all over the world can tip the scales, so to speak, for their favorite player because, in the event of a tie for players in a position group (front court, guard), fan voting will serve as the tiebreaker.

Fans have until Monday, January 15, 11:59 p.m. ET (11:59 a.m. of January 16 for the Philippines) to vote for their favorite NBA player to be included in the All-Star rosters. And it's all gone techie.

Here are the many ways by which basketball fans can leave their imprint on this year's NBA All-Star Games :

Go to and the NBA app on your PC, laptop or mobile phone. Select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference (East and/or West). During 2-for-1 days, votes will be counted twice. You can cast one ballot every 24 hours.

Vote on Facebook. Post a player's first and last name and the hashtag #NBAVOTE on your timeline. You can submit up to 10 unique player votes per day.

Go on Twitter: Tweet, retweet or reply with a player's first and last name or Twitter handle, along with #NBAVOTE. You can tweet up to 10 unique player votes per day.

Google it. Search 'NBA Vote All-Star' or 'NBA Vote [Team Name]' and fill out the voting cards. Up to 10 unique player votes per day.

Amazon Alexa. Enable the NBA All-Star skill and say, 'Alexa, open NBA All-Star.' Request to vote. You are entitled to10 unique player votes per day.

You can vote on all platforms. So, if you're going to be serious about it and make it a full-time job until January 15, you just might be able to swing your favorite player into All-Star status. Try it. It works.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 10, 2018
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