LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo pick All-Star teams — then trade Simmons for Westbrook

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This is exactly why this needed to be done live last year… or at least live on tape, which is how it got done this time around (because LeBron James has a game tonight).

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo picked their All-Star teams playground-style on Inside the NBA Thursday night — and then made a trade. Which Shaq, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson on Inside the NBA approved, and that feels more official than the league office, so it’s done.

LeBron and Antetokounmpo were the top All-Star vote-getters from each conference, so they were the captains who got to choose the teams. That starts with them picking from the pool of starters (voted in by the fans, media, and players), then the reserves (chosen by a coaches vote), then the two special additions put on the roster by Adam Silver, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki.

LeBron picked first and chose Kevin Durant — for the second straight year — followed by Antetokounmpo taking Stephen Curry.

When it got funny came with the reserves. Antetokounmpo chose first and went with his Milwaukee teammate Kris Middleton. Next LeBron picked Anthony Davis and Ernie Johnson asked, “You sure you want him to be your teammate?” But the best part was the Greek Freak calling for tampering.

Then they moved on through the reserves, but Antetokounmpo took LeBron buddy (they share an agent) Ben Simmons, which prompted LeBron to cuss on air.

After all was said on done, LeBron proposed a Simmons for Russell Westbrook trade. Antetokounmpo had fun with it, then relented and accepted it.

Then the jokes flew, starting with Barkley.

Here are your All-Star teams:

Team LeBron (coached by Mike Malone)
Starters
LeBron James
Kevin Durant
Kyrie Irving
Kawhi Leonard
James Harden

Reserves
Anthony Davis
Klay Thompson
Damian Lillard
Ben Simmons
LaMarcus Aldridge
Karl-Anthony Towns
Bradley Beal
Dwyane Wade

Team Giannis (coached by Mike Budenholzer)
Starters
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Stephen Curry
Joel Embiid
Paul George
Kemba Walker

Reserves
Kris Middleton
Nikola Jokic
Russell Westbrook
Blake Griffin
D’Angelo Russell
Nikola Vucevic
Kyle Lowry
Dirk Nowitzki

The NBA All-Star Game will be played Feb. 17 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte. You can catch it on TNT starting at 8 p.m. ET.