The NBA All-Star game is a little over a month away, and fans have already been casting their votes via social media and website. Yesterday, the NBA announced the first fan ballots for the All-Star voting, and there was a surprising player that topped the list for most votes.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leads first ballot returns

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo shockingly leads all votes with 863,416, over 7,000 more votes than second-place LeBron James. James has been having an MVP type season, but it seems like fans have been appreciating Giannis’ rise to stardom.

Ranked third place amongst all players is LeBron’s former teammate Kyrie Irving with 802,834 votes. It’s no surprise that Irving has received a lot of attention since moving to Boston to lead a team of his own, pacing them to the best record in the East.

However, Antetokounmpo receiving so many votes on a Bucks team that is currently seeded fifth in the East with a 20-16 record is quite surprising.

Over in the Western Conference, Kevin Durant leads all players with 767,402 votes, followed by fellow teammate Stephen Curry with 735,115 votes. The biggest surprise in the West is that rookie Lonzo Ball has more votes than Devin Booker and Jimmy Butler. Meanwhile, the other Lakers' rookie, Kyle Kuzma has more votes than Ball, Booker, Butler, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Antetokounmpo joked about picking LeBron James first so the two of them can have "a good relationship" heading into free agency.

The new All-Star format

In October, the NBA announced a new format for the All-Star game, removing the battle between two conferences. Instead, the player with the most votes for each conference will become team captains and draft from the pool of players named All-Stars.

Since Antetokounmpo is currently leading the Eastern Conference, he would become the first captain. When asked who he would choose with his first pick, Antetokounmpo said that he would take LeBron James. Why? “So we can have a good relationship,” Giannis said.

Antetokounmpo wants to maintain a good relationship with James since the three-time champion is going to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and it would be ideal for Giannis and the Bucks to try and lure James to Milwaukee.

In the West, Durant would currently be the captain and he would most likely choose Curry with his first pick. There is still a lot of time, and the ballot could drastically change from now until mid-January. There are 10 days left for fans to cast their votes in.

You can vote for your All-Stars by going to or by naming a player on social media with the hashtag #NBAVote. The All-Star game will be on Sunday, February 18 in Los Angeles.