James, Antetokounmpo select NBA All-Star teams
The Associated Press
Anthony Davis is LeBron James’ teammate in Los Angeles, and they’ll be teammates at the All-Star Game in Chicago as well.
James took his fellow Lakers All-Star with the No. 1 overall pick of the Feb. 16 game’s draft on Thursday, as he matched wits with fellow captain Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks for the second consecutive year.
James is looking to go 3-0 as an All-Star captain, after his team beat the one picked by Golden State’s Stephen Curry in 2018 and topped the one Antetokounmpo selected last year as well. James had the No. 1 overall pick for this year’s first round, the starters’ round — since he received the most overall votes from fans.
And Davis, predictably, was the pick.
“I know you’re all surprised,” James said.
Antetokounmpo made Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, “my African brother,” he said, his first pick. James stayed with the LA theme by taking the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard with the third overall pick, and Antetokounmpo stayed with African-born players by selecting Toronto’s Pascal Siakam — like Embiid, a native of Cameroon — with the next selection.
James went with a risk next, taking Dallas’ Luka Doncic — who is currently dealing with an ankle injury. Antetokounmpo chose Boston’s Kemba Walker sixth, James then took Houston’s James Harden seventh, and that left Atlanta’s Trae Young as the last remaining starter and automatically going to Team Giannis.
The reserves were next, with Antetokounmpo choosing Milwaukee teammate Khris Middleton with the first selection of the second round. Portland’s Damian Lillard was James’ first reserve selection, and they were off and running.
The rest of Team Giannis’ reserves, in order: Miami’s Bam Adebayo (the third pick of the reserve round), Utah’s Rudy Gobert (fifth), Miami’s Jimmy Butler (seventh), Toronto’s Kyle Lowry (ninth), New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram (11th) and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell (13th).
“Cost me a trip to the finals last year,” Antetokounmpo said when he took Lowry.
Team LeBron was filled out, in order, by: Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons (the fourth pick of the reserve round), Denver’s Nikola Jokic (sixth), Boston’s Jayson Tatum (eighth), Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul (10th), Houston’s Russell Westbrook (12th) and Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis (14th) became the last selection.
“There’s no wrong choice,” James said. “We’re all All-Stars, they’re all All-Stars for a reason.”
Added Antetokounmpo: “You cannot go wrong. These are the best 24 players in the world.”
NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and the seven other victims of the helicopter crash in Southern California on Jan. 26 will be memorialized throughout the weekend.
Players on Team LeBron will all wear No. 2, in tribute to Gianna Bryant. Players on Team Giannis will all wear No. 24, in tribute to Kobe Bryant. And all participants in All-Star weekend will wear a patch with nine stars, commemorating the nine victims.
There is a charity component to the game, with $500,000 at stake for Chicago-based programs.
The first three quarters will essentially become mini-games, each worth $100,000 to the winning team. Scores will be reset after the first and second quarters, and then the scores will be added up after the third quarter. From there, the game clock gets turned off for the rest of the night and the first team to add 24 — another nod to Kobe Bryant — to whatever the leading score after three quarters was wins the game and captures another $200,000 for its charity.
“I love the idea,” James said.
James’ team will be playing to benefit Chicago Scholars, which assists children trying to become first-generation college students. Antetokounmpo’s team will play for After School Matters, which funds after-school activities and summer programs.
NBA All-Star Game
At United Center in Chicago
RISING STARS CHALLENGE
No. Player (Team) Pos. Ht. Wt. College Yr
0 Miles Bridges (Charlotte) F 6-6 225 Michigan State 1
34 x-Wendell Carter Jr. (Chicago) C 6-10 270 Duke 1
4 Devonte’ Graham (Charlotte) G 6-1 195 Kansas 1
14 Tyler Herro (Miami) G 6-5 200 Kentucky R
13 Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis) F 6-11 242 Michigan State 1
12 Ja Morant (Memphis) G 6-3 175 Murray State R
25 Kendrick Nunn (Miami) G 6-2 190 Oakland R
7 Eric Paschall (Golden State) F 6-6 255 Villanova R
25 PJ Washington (Charlotte) F 6-7 230 Kentucky R
1 y-Zion Williamson (New Orleans) F 6-6 285 Duke R
11 Trae Young (Atlanta) G 6-1 180 Oklahoma 1
No. Player (Team) Pos. Ht. Wt. Country Yr
0 Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans) G 6-5 205 Canada R
22 Deandre Ayton (Phoenix) C 6-11 250 Bahamas 1
9 RJ Barrett (New York) G/F 6-6 214 Canada R
15 Brandon Clarke (Memphis) F 6-8 210 Canada R
77 Luka Doncic (Dallas) G/F 6-7 230 Slovenia 1
2 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City) G 6-5 181 Canada 1
8 Rui Hachimura (Washington) F 6-8 230 Japan R
19 Svi Mykhailiuk (Detroit) G/F 6-7 205 Ukraine 1
20 Josh Okogie (Minnesota) G 6-4 212 Nigeria 1
21 Moritz Wagner (Washington) C 6-11 245 Germany 1
x-injured/will not play; y-injury replacement
Saturday, Feb. 15
Participant, Team Pos Ht Wt
Bam Adebayo, Miami C-F 6-9 255
Patrick Beverly, L.A. Clippers G 6-1 180
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn G 6-5 215
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee F 6-7 225
Derrick Rose, Detroit G 6-2 200
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana F 6-11 240
Pascal Siakam, Toronto F 6-9 230
Jayson Tatum, Boston F 6-8 210
Participant, Team Pos Ht Wt
Davis Bertans, Washington F 6-10 225
Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte G 6-1 195
Joe Harris, Brooklyn G 6-6 220
Buddy Hield, Sacramento G 6-4 220
Zach LaVine, Chicago G 6-6 200
Damian Lillard, Portland G 6-2 195
Duncan Robinson, Miami F 6-7 215
Trae Young, Atlanta G 6-1 180
Participant, Team Pos Ht Wt
Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee G 6-4 214
Aaron Gordon, Orlando F 6-9 235
Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers C 6-10 265
Derrick Jones Jr., Miami F 6-6 210
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