The past two years, LeBron James couldn’t have Giannis Antetokounmpo on his NBA All-Star team because the two of them were captains of their respective squads.
But this year, with Kevin Durant getting the other captaincy opposite James, he made sure he would be playing alongside the NBA’s two-time reigning Most Valuable Player by taking him with the first overall pick of Thursday night’s All-Star Game draft on TNT.
#SportsNews LeBron takes Giannis first in draft; Jazz stars last: LeBron James took two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo with the first pick of the All-Star Game draft. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the league-leading Jazz went last. https://t.co/at1T0sYB7j pic.twitter.com/ORxQvfVxvt
— Muggs-N-Manor (@muggsnmanor) March 5, 2021
“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.