The previous two years, LeBron James couldn’t have Giannis Antetokounmpo in his NBA All-Star group in light of the fact that both of them were commanders of their individual crews. Yet, this year, with Kevin Durant getting the other captaincy inverse James, he ensured he would play close by the NBA’s double cross ruling Most Valuable Player by taking him with the main in general pick of Thursday night’s All-Star Game draft on TNT.”I just try to pick players that can complement one another,”James said before taking Antetokounmpo to begin the draft, when asked why he has won the first three times he has been a captain.”We’re out on the floor, just try to play the game the right way. It’s an All-Star Game, so it’s going to be some shenanigans out there, but for the majority of the game, we just play the right way and try to get a win.”
The leading vote-getters from the Eastern and Western Conferences then went back and forth in selecting the remaining starters for Sunday’s game in Atlanta, as voted on by a combination of fans, players and media members.James and Durant each then chose seven reserves. The final two players on the board ended up being Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the league-leading Utah Jazz. Mitchell was eventually selected by Durant; James took Gobert.
The Jazz are at the top of the NBA with a 27-9 record, and their two All-Stars going last caused some controversy on the TNT set. James attempted to defend himself and Durant for how things shook out.”I just want to say something, because there’s no slander to the Utah Jazz,” James said with a smile. “But you guys got to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. Even as great as Karl Malone and John Stockton were, we never would have picked those guys. Never.” Dynamite expert and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley at that point gave James trouble for his drafting keenness, saying, “LeBron says he needs some size, and he has 7-5 Gobert, and he takes 6-2 [Domantas] Sabonis,” drawing a lot of chuckles from everybody included.