The teams are set, let’s play some basketball this All-Star Weekend.
The 2019 All-Star Game commences at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina this evening with LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way for their respective teams.
James and Antetokounmpo picked their teams live on Inside the NBA on TNT on February 7th. They gave us jokes and intense deliberation for who they chose for their teams. There was even a surprise trade that happened.
James and Antetokounmpo drafted their teams from the pool of player that were voted to be starters and reserves. They also got to pick an honorary player between Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade.
The format for how the draft worked was that James picked first from the starter pool, Antetokounmpo picked first from the reserves, and James got the first pick from the honorary pool.
With the first pick of the draft, James picked Kevin Durant from the Golden State Warriors. This is Durant’s 10th All-Star selection and is the second time that he was chosen first in the draft. James picked Durant first in last year’s All-Star game draft.
Antetokounmpo then chose Stephen Curry as his first pick of the draft. This is the Warriors point guard’s sixth All-Star selection. Curry was the captain of last year’s All-Star draft.
Here is how the rest of the draft played out.
Team LeBron: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Team Giannis: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Team LeBron: Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Team Giannis: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Team LeBron: Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors
Team Giannis: Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Team LeBron: James Harden, Houston Rockets
Team Giannis: Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
Anyone rooting for the players who represent the host city of Charlotte could look to get behind Team Giannis as he selected Curry and Walker. Charlotte is Curry’s hometown and Walker is the lone representative of the host team.
Team LeBron is stacked with some scorers and impact players in the starting lineup who have had some stellar first halves of the season. Harden is on a roll with his 30-point scoring streak through a 30-game stretch as he is building his Most Valuable Player campaign this season.
Team Giannis: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Team LeBron: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Team Giannis: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Team LeBon: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Team Giannis: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Team LeBron: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Team Giannis: Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons
Team LeBron: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Team Giannis: D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
Team LeBron: LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
Team Giannis: Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
Team LeBron: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Team Giannis: Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Team LeBron: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
When James picked Davis as his first pick of the reserves round, eyebrows were raised and laughter ensued. “Isn’t that tampering?” Antetokounmpo jokingly asked.
Davis came into the All-Star break following a whirlwind of trade speculation about him going to the Los Angeles Lakers after he announced that he wanted to be traded from the Pelicans a few weeks ago.
Team LeBron: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Team Giannis: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
Following the draft, there was a trade request made for James to acquire Ben Simmons from Team Giannis for Russell Westbrook. The proposed trade had to go through some deliberation on whether or not it would be done. It was later accepted and Antetokounmpo joked about how Westbrook and Embiid would get along on while being on the same team.
It is noted that whenever Westbrook and Embiid face off during the regular season, it is a bit tense and entertaining at the same time due to their budding rivalry.
With the teams now determined, the 68th All-Star Game will be played at the Spectrum Center at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.