LeBron James has been named All-Star captain for the sixth year in a row. When he faced Stephen Curry in his final season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the All-Star Game’s structure was altered. He continued to rule the ASG captaincy after switching to the Western Conference.
James chose teams to play against Giannis Antetokounmpo, the captain of the Eastern Conference, this year. However, Adam Silver and crew chose to perform the player drafting in real-time with both captains choosing teams shortly before the All-Star Game after five years of doing so via a broadcast segment.
However, the NBA chose to pick the reserves first and then move on to the starters in order to avoid the sensation that someone was picked last. This doesn’t change the fact that someone will always be selected last, but it did result in a hilarious exchange between LeBron James and Nikola Jokic.
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Nikola Jokic begs LeBron James to pick him
LeBron James has once again selected a team that, on paper, appears to be superior to the team of his opponent’s captain, despite the fact that he may not be in the lead at the half. Nikola Jokic, who is currently the reigning two-time regular season MVP, was the final player he chose from the group of starters that were offered to him.
With Lauri Markkanen sitting next to him and Jokic being one of the two last players chosen, Jokic approached LeBron James as he was deliberating on his last decision and effectively told him to choose him. In response, James chose Mr. Triple Double and transferred Lauri to Team Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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Later, Draymond Green would admit that the Lakers star would have selected Lauri for his squad rather than the apparent MVP candidate because he preferred the odd but popular choice.
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Kevin Durant on Being Picked Last
After being chosen as an All-Star starter, Kevin Durant was unable to participate in the 2023 All-Star Game due to an MCL sprain. The Phoenix Suns star would later discuss starting players being selected before reserves in order to avoid a last-pick scenario at his All-Star weekend press conference.
He called it a most broke millionaire situation and stated that he didn’t like the change because no one should mind being chosen last given that they are all millionaires.
“I don’t remember getting picked last. Ever… I seen that on Twitter, somebody said the last pick is like the brokest millionaire.”
Kevin Durant on the NBA All-Star Draft
(via @TomerAzarly) pic.twitter.com/kbjVBfg06I
ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 20, 2023