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Kevin Durant: I don’t want to be captain and draft All-Stars

NBA All-Star Game 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 19: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors in action during the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Kevin Durant narrowly trails Stephen Curry for the Western Conference lead in All-Star fan voting.

If Durant – who led the early returns before getting passed by his Warriors teammate – had his way, he wouldn’t re-claim the lead.

Each conference’s vote leader will captain an All-Star team, drafting his teammates from a pool of other All-Stars.

Durant to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, via ESPN:

“I don’t want to do it,” Durant told The Athletic. “I’d rather somebody else do it. It’s cool to be an All-Star, but all the extra stuff ... I just want to go play in the game. [The new format]'s cool, a different way, a creative way that’s good for the fans. But me, I’ll let somebody else pick the teams.”

Durant isn’t just insecure. He’s openly insecure.

If people weren’t so busy being mad at him for signing with Golden State, they might appreciate his transparency (at least when it doesn’t come via burner social media). Durant is protected by the draft not being revealed by the league, but he still explained how he’s uncomfortable with the exercise, anyway. That opens him to criticism for being soft, scared, cupcake – the usual (that doesn’t apply on the court).

Durant’s reluctance probably stems from his high-profile feud with Russell Westbrook. That would only get re-examined if Durant is a captain, and he clearly wants to move on.

This answer is fascinating, if not also foolish. Isn’t Durant implicitly asking his haters – of which there are many – to vote for him and put him in the awkward and unwanted position of picking teams? (Unless he’s conning everyone and wants to win.)

If he wants votes, Curry is taking a much simpler approach when asked whether he wanted to win captaincy.

Curry to Slater, via ESPN:

“Why not?” Curry said. “I’ll be the first to usher in the new system. I used to go to the playground all the time, and you wanted to be the guy picking teams. That meant you were something on the court back in the day. It’ll be a cool vibe to see how it all shakes out and how unique you can make the lineups.”

Curry is fearless and cutthroat, traits too rarely used to describe him because of his diminutive size and polished public persona. He’ll draft who he wants and deal with the hurt feelings.