LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will select the rosters for the NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night in a live draft that will be televised for the first time.
But before LeBron and Giannis make their choices, we decided to have some fun by pretending to be them. For this exercise, Drew is LeBron (who owns the first pick) and Grant is Giannis (who has the first pick among the non-starters).
So without further ado, let's pick the teams ...
1. Team Drew/LeBron -- Kevin Durant
Even though Durant reportedly believes the general public should view him as being the best player in the world (and therefore better than LeBron), The King isn't going to let emotions get involved here. Besides, there's no way LeBron would ever take Curry over Durant because LeBron flat out believes Durant is better than Curry, and he wasn't too pleased with how Curry bust onto the scene a couple years ago and became the face of the NBA for a period of time.
2. Team Grant/Giannis -- Steph Curry
Easy pick here. Steph selected Giannis first last year, and now Giannis returns the favor. Also, this is a great way for the two to build their chemistry before becoming future teammates ... (no Steph is not going to Milwaukee)
3. Team Drew/LeBron -- Kyrie Irving
The guy who hit the game-winning shot in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals called LeBron last month to apologize "for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips." Also, Kyrie is reportedly "genuinely interested in reuniting" with LeBron, so this is a perfect opportunity for them to rebuild their chemistry.
4. Team Grant/Giannis -- James Harden
The reigning MVP is putting up other-worldly numbers this season so adding him to the squad is a no-brainer. Harden is not known for his defense, but neither is the All-Star game, so it is a perfect match.
5. Team Drew/LeBron -- Kawhi Leonard
Can't pass up on the guy who beat LeBron in the 2014 Finals and was named Finals MVP. Plus, as teammates in the All-Star Game, they can fight over number of shots just like they will fight over Southern California supremacy when Kawhi signs with the Clippers this summer.
6. Team Grant/Giannis -- Joel Embiid
Looks like Drew is adding some serious length to his squad, so I better counteract. Embiid is a premier defensive center and has the personality of someone that will make the game fun. While Drew's team is becoming Team Drama, my squad is definitely Team Fun.
7. Team Drew/LeBron -- Paul George
Team Drama is way more fun than Team Fun. Remember when PG-13 passed up on the opportunity to team up with LeBron on the Lakers last summer? He doesn't have the choice here. Sorry, Paul.
8. Team Grant/Giannis -- Kemba Walker
Sure, this definitely does not help our height issue, but we add a lethal scorer. The league is going small and fast anyway, so hey, might as well see if that works for my squad too. I'm feeling great about a Kemba-Curry-Harden-Giannis-Embiid starting lineup.
9. Team Grant/Giannis -- Anthony Davis
This was not a hard pick. It's crazy to think that AD is not a starter but hey, it goes in my favor. I also keep AD away from Drew's squad so now LeBron cannot recruit him even more than he already has.
10. Team Drew/LeBron -- Russell Westbrook
Not cool, Grant. Not cool. The world just doesn't want LeBron and Davis to partner up.. But at least we get to see Westbrook and Durant be teammates again. That's drama-filled and fun!
11. Team Grant/Giannis -- Klay Thompson
The Splash Brothers are always supposed to be on the same team, right? The more shooting, the better when you have players like Harden and Curry who find spot-up shooters. Also, more importantly, again this keeps LeBron away from recruitment.
12. Team Drew/LeBron -- D'Angelo Russell
If you're looking for some drama, you gotta have Russell on your squad so he can Snapchat what's being discussed in the huddles.
13. Team Grant/Giannis -- Nikola Jokic
The big man's name has come up in the MVP race, so might as well add him to a team that already has a few other MVP types. Not only can he score, averaging over 20 points per game, but he is an exceptional passer who has a flair for the theatrical.
14. Team Drew/LeBron -- Ben Simmons
He's dating Kendall Jenner, right? Perfect.
15. Team Grant/Giannis -- Damian Lillard
I was very excited to make this pick. I envision a lineup including Steph-Dame-Kemba on the floor and watch them run circles around the opposing defense. Also, Dame, Steph and Klay can take turns shooting the ball from 35 feet out.
16. Team Drew/LeBron -- Blake Griffin
Kendall Jenner broke up with Blake Griffin for Ben Simmons, right? Perfect.
17. Team Grant/Giannis -- Bradley Beal
Did I mention long-range shooters already? Why not add another one. Okay, my team is not exactly made up of high-flyers, but they can shoot from deep and that's how the league has evolved. I'm just riding the wave of evolution.
18. Team Drew/LeBron -- Karl-Anthony Towns
He was teammates with Jimmy Butler in Minnesota, so he knows how to handle chaotic and turmoil-filled situations. He will fit in perfectly on this squad.
19. Team Grant/Giannis -- Khris Middleton
Am I taking too many shooters? Possibly, but I'm guessing in reality that Giannis does not wait until this late in the draft to take his Bucks teammate. But since I knew Drew only wants drama on his team, I was comfortable waiting.
20. Team Drew/LeBron -- Nikola Vucevic
I played against him in college, so therefore I want him on my team. It's that simple (oh, and he also went to USC, which is near Hollywood, which is the epicenter of drama).
21. Team Grant/Giannis -- Kyle Lowry
Not exactly the sexiest pick, as he does not do much that creates shock and awe. But he is a winner. And I want to win this game. Also, he is "small", so maybe we add him to make a Steph-Kemba-Dame-Lowry-Beal lineup.
22. Team Drew/LeBron -- LaMarcus Aldridge
Do I have to pick him?
23. Team Grant/Giannis -- Dirk Nowtizki
Did I let Drew draft Wade next so that he can reunite with LeBron? Yes, yes I did. But that does not mean I'm not pumped to have Dirk. His numbers are grossly low this year, but no one cares. The future Hall of Famer deserves one more All-Star game and I'm sure he and Steph can have a dunk contest of their own (plus, they are both in the 3-point contest this year).
24. Team Drew/LeBron -- Dwyane Wade
Banana Boat, assemble!
Most people probably will give Team Grant/Giannis the edge when it comes to the reserves. But Team Drew/LeBron most certainly has the edge in the starting lineup.
The crowd would be heavily in favor of Team Grant/Giannis because of Steph Curry and Kemba Walker, and that could be a factor in crunch time.
Team Drew/LeBron is highly combustible, and the chemistry might be non-existent. But the talent is off the charts.
Who ya got?!