A message to show support for China's fight against COVID-19 appeared on the jumbotron at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago, Illinois. NBAE/GETTY IMAGES NBA players grateful for passionate support in vote as hoops enthusiasts revive spirit of Yao Ming glory days China's hoops fans again showed their immense passion for the NBA All-Star Game by casting millions of votes in the online ballot for the annual extravaganza. With the vote accounting for 50 per cent of the decision on who will start NBA All-Star 2021, players have been feeling the love from Chinese fans raring to see their heroes light up the court at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on March 7. "A big 'Thank You' to all my fans in China! Cheers to being an All-Star again. Never take it for granted!" wrote four-time NBA All-Star Joel Embiid on Weibo. The Philadelphia 76ers powerhouse will play as an Eastern Conference starter along with two-time reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets. The East's team captain Kevin Durant announced on Friday that he will miss the game due to injury and is replaced by Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum in the starting lineup.