Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant participated in the 2021 NBA All-Star draft on Thursday night to get the players selected and divided into teams for Sunday evening in Atlanta.
Early on in the draft, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid went off the board as he was selected third-overall by Kevin Durant. Therefore, Embiid will play with his usual head coach, Doc Rivers, who was selected to coach Team Durant.
As for Ben Simmons, he'll be on the other team. To no surprise, Simmons ended up on Team LeBron once again. As a reserve, Simmons was only eligible to be taken in the second round of the draft. Three picks in, LeBron selected Simmons, which disappointed Durant as he wanted the Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
"With my second pick in the second round, I'm gonna go with Ben Simmons. Mr. Play hard every possession from the Philadelphia 76ers," James said.
Not a bad player to receive compliments from, huh? As we know, Simmons and LeBron go back as the Lakers star has taken Simmons under his wing since he was a top prospect coming out of High School. So, the praise wasn't shocking.
But Kevin Durant's disappointed reaction when LeBron selected Simmons was also another form of praise for the Sixers guard. "I wanted Ben Simmons," Durant said as he slowly nodded. "I wanted Ben." Unfortunately for Durant, he won't get the dynamic duo that is Simmons and Embiid at the All-Star game this season.