LeBron James chooses Anthony Davis first; Team LeBron, Team Giannis All-Star rosters picked
This draft’s No. 1 pick had all the suspense of the last NBA Draft’s No. 1 pick.
LeBron James didn’t have to pick Anthony Davis first to recruit him this time around. Instead, LeBron selected his teammate Davis with the top pick, the opening of the All-Star Game team drafts.
Team LeBron and Team Giannis are now set after a playground-style draft broadcast on TNT Thursday. No trades this year — Giannis Antetokounmpo joked last year’s trade cost him the game — and not as much drama. Although Antetokounmpo did have a little fun at James Harden’s expense.
Fans again voted LeBron and Antetokounmpo captains (they were the top vote-getters in the fan All-Star voting), and they picked their teams on Inside the NBA Thursday. That started with them picking from the pool of starters (voted in by the fans, media, and players), then the reserves (chosen by the coaches vote).
LeBron took teammate Davis first but “only because he’s from this city (Chicago).” Antetokounmpo went with fellow African Joel Embiid for his first selection, and it went from there.
Here are your All-Star teams:
Team LeBron (coached by Frank Vogel)
Team Giannis (coached by Nick Nurse)
The NBA All-Star Game will be played Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago. You can catch it on TNT starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Team LeBron and Team Giannis will play in the new NBA All-Star Game format, aimed to add a spark to what has evolved into a boring exhibition that is all scoring and guys making sure they don’t get injured. The league office has been looking for a way to bring some energy to the game, and they have come up with this new format — and thrown in a Kobe Bryant tribute to boot.
It works like this: Each of the first three quarters will start with a 0-0 score. The two teams will be playing for specific charities each quarter, and the team that wins that quarter gets more money for their cause. After three quarters, then the game heads to a modified Elam Ending: the teams’ scores will be added together to get a traditional score, then 24 points will be added to that to create a “target score,” and the first team to that number wins. No game clock, just play until one team gets to the target score. (The league chose 24 points to honor Kobe, as he wore that number.) Here’s an example to help explain it: If after three quarters Team LeBron leads 150-145, then the “target score” becomes 174 (150+24) and the first team to that number wins the All-Star Game. Team LeBron would have to score 24 points, but if Team Giannis can score 29 points first to win.
It promises to make a confusing broadcast. But at least the televised draft was entertaining.