Team captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant had selected their teammates for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game this Sunday at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
According to NBA.com, both Team LeBron and Team Durant's rosters were revealed in the NBA All-Star Draft presentation on TNT. The Los Angeles Lakers main man, LeBron, picked first from among the starters while Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets chose his first player from among the reserves.
The NBA All-Star Draft started with Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis 'The Greek Freak' Antetokounmpo chosen by James as the first overall pick. James stated that he selected the Greek Freak first as he knows that Durant will be picking Kyrie Irving as the second overall pick.
The Los Angeles star played it right, as it enabled him to select his former rival, Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, as second on his list. He then selected European stars Luka Dončić afterward and, lastly, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić.
As LeBron has projected, Kevin Durant selected his teammate, Nets guard Kyrie Irving, as the second overall pick in the All-Star Draft. Then, Durant selected one of the MVP race frontrunners this season, the center of the Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid.
The Brooklyn Nets star also selected one of the best defenders for LeBron, Kawhi Leonard, and then followed by the Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who both proved that they could carry their teams' offensive needs. Tatum was originally voted as a reserve in the NBA All-Star Game, but because Kevin Durant could not play due to injury, he was moved up as a starter, the Sporting News reported.
Kevin Durant started the draft for the reserves with his teammate Nets guard James Harden, completing the 'big three' of the Brooklyn Nets for the NBA All-Star Game. Durant then chose highflyers, Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, and Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls.
Durant also selected 'go-to guys' in their respective teams, starting with New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Orlando Magic Center Nikola Vučević, and the guard of the leading team in the league for the record, Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell. Since Lakers forward Anthony Davis will also not be able to play, he has been assigned to Team Durant after KD drafted his replacement for the game, Devin Booker.
Team LeBron's reserves heavily consist of guards, starting with Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard, Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons, his longtime friend and also the president of the NBPA, Chris Paul, and Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown. LeBron also selected LA Clippers forward Paul George, who he jokingly called his rival in LA.
LeBron finished his selection with Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis and then left with Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
The game on Sunday will be the 70th NBA All-Star Game, to be aired on TNT and ESPN Radio, and the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge, MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest, and AT&T Slam Dunk. All will take place in one night, ESPN reported.