LeBron takes Antetokounmpo with first pick, Durant nabs Irving, Harden in All-Star Game draft

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The NBA All-Star rosters are set after a playground-style draft and…

Team LeBron looks stacked.

There are no bad picks and no bad teams when it comes to selecting All-Stars, but Team LeBron has shot creators, shooters, and a whole lot of gifted passers — and Damian Lillard is the sixth man. That said, for Durant, James Harden is his sixth man. Not shabby.

Here are the teams (captains Lebron and Durant alternated picks in a pool of starters and then the reserves):

Team LeBron

Starters
LeBron James, captain (Lakers)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
Stephen Curry (Warriors)
Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)

Reserves
• Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
Ben Simmons (76ers)
Chris Paul (Suns)
Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
Paul George (Clippers)
Domantas Sabonis (Pacers)
Rudy Gobert (Jazz)

Team Durant

Starters
Kyrie Irving (Nets)
Joel Embiid (76ers)
Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
Bradley Beal (Wizards)
Jayson Tatum (Celtics)

Reserves
• James Harden (Nets)
Devin Booker (Suns)
Zion Williamson (Pelicans)
Zach LaVine (Bulls)
Julius Randle (Knicks)
Nikola Vucevic (Magic)
Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)

• LeBron had the first pick overall and chose Antetokounmpo.

• Durant used his first pick of the starters on teammate Irving, then his first pick of the reserves on teammate Harden. That might be the least surprising thing of the night.

• “This Utah Jazz slander will not stand” was how Charles Barkley phrased it — the last two players on the board were Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Jazz. Durant took Mitchell, which made Gobert the last pick in the draft (despite him playing well in the 2020 All-Star Game).

• LeBron’s answer for why the two Jazz players were last on the board? “There’s no slander to the Utah Jazz. You’ve got to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. As great as Karl Malone and John Stockton was, we would never pick those guys in video games.”

• Not sold LeBron’s “there’s no slander, we just never respected this franchise” answer works as intended. Also, any time you start a sentence with “there’s no slander” you can be sure the slander is coming.

• After feeling the referees screwed over the Jazz against the 76ers the night before, then seeing their two players get picked last, Jazz fans are a little bit salty on Twitter.

• Barkley also gave LeBron crap for saying “I need some size” on his team then picking “6’2 Sabonis over 7’5” Gobert. (For the record, Sabonis is listed as 6’11” and Gobert is 7’0”, although in person that feels a couple of inches tall for Sabonis and maybe even a little short for Gobert).

• The All-Star Game takes place Sunday, March 7, and will be broadcast on TNT. It will have the Skills Challenge and Three-Point Competition before tip-off, then the Dunk Contest at halftime.