The NBA All Star game is a 67 year old tradition that calls only the most elite players to compete in the most epic pickup game. Beginning back in 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts, the all star break gives players the chance to get some rest during a grueling NBA season, while showcasing the best players. The stage is set for this year’s NBA All Star game, taking place in Los Angeles at the legendary Staples Center on February 18.
This year, the game is straying away from its original format where the best players from Eastern Conference faced off against the best players from the Western Conference. Instead, the NBA decided to go in a new direction, allowing the player with the most fan votes from each conference to be captains for each team. Then, as usual the fans voted for the starters for each team, and the NBA and coaches chose the reserves. From this pool of players, the two captains drafted who they wanted on their team to make the most incredible pickup game.
The captains for this year are none other than LeBron James and Stephen Curry, and although the draft wasn’t televised, it was still exciting to see who made Team LeBron and Team Curry.
The biggest takeaways from LeBron’s roster is the reunion of Irving and James. The reunion has the potential to be an awkward one because of bad blood that occurred behind closed doors. Irving, who played with LeBron in Cleveland for three seasons, demanded a trade because he was tired of being LeBron’s sidekick. As a result, the Cavs traded Irving to the Boston Celtics in a blockbuster trade. There is tension between the two all stars, and especially with the recent news that came out that Irving went to Cavs management and said that he would sit out the entire season with a knee injury if they did not trade him.
The starters for Team LeBron are DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James, while his reserves are LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, Paul George*, Kevin Love, Victor Oladipo, Kristaps Porzingis, Andre Drummond** and Russell Westbrook.
*Replacement for DeMarcus Cousins due to injury
**Replacement for John Wall due to injury
My prediction is Giannis Antetokounmpo was Curry’s first pick, because he gets it done on both ends of the court. Also, three out of the four Warriors got on the same team, which is not too much of a shock. Joel Embiid, aka The Process, makes his all star game debut as a starter, but do not be surprised if he doesn’t play much due to the 76ers precaution on Embiid’s knee.
Team Curry’s starters consist of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Demar DeRozan, Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Stephen Curry, while his reserves are Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Al Horford, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Finally, my prediction for MVP of this game comes from Team Curry: Giannis Antetokounmpo aka The Greek Freak. He is having his best year yet, and he does it all for his Milwaukee Bucks team.
Be sure to tune into this year’s NBA All Star game, starting at 8 P.M. EST on TNT on February 18!