nba all-star draft

On Tuesday, the NBA announced the full player pool for this year’s All-Star Game, with team captains Steph Curry and LeBron James set to pick the actual teams, a la the playground.

Unfortunately, the draft itself wasn’t available to watch; this defeats half the purpose, because the potential for drama was off the charts. LeBron agreed!

The results bear that out, too:

LeBron and Steph broke down some of their draft process with Ernie Johnson:

Those are some solid rosters, obviously, which is what happens when you’re drafting nothing but All-Stars. LeBron had the first pick, so it’s pretty obvious he went with Durant; he also ended up with Kyrie and Kevin Love on his roster, though it’d be fun to know just when he felt the need to pull the trigger on Love. The Cavs reunion isn’t the only one on LeBron’s roster; Durant is back with Westbrook as well, and it’ll be fun to see how that dynamic plays out.

Curry ending up with Harden and Giannis is exactly how our mock draft played out yesterday, and that’s a difficult team to defend. Lowry and DeRozan, Wall and Beal, and Butler and Towns will also play together; the only teammates to be split up were Durant and the remaining three Warriors, robbing us of some of the other fun possibilities. Although players tend not to go that hard anyway, and it’s even more difficult to imagine teammates trying to play hard defense against each other; imagine if Green somehow injures Durant? They might never play the game again.

And that’s why it’s tough to get excited about the format change; are the players really going to try harder now? Is this really going to end up any differently than when the NFL tried to do something similar with the Pro Bowl a few years ago, and (spoiler alert?) no one cared because it’s not really a game?

It’ll be fun, there will be dunks and alley-oops galore, and possibly things will tighten up down the stretch. But it’s not going to be the world-beating game it would be if injuries and fatigue weren’t concerns.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.