The playground-style draft that was used for the first time to select teams for the NBA All-Star Game produced some interesting results Thursday.
LeBronJames of the Cavaliers and StephenCurry of the Warriors, the leading vote-getters in fan balloting in each conference, made the selections.
The 57th All-Star Game will be played Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
James, the top vote-getter, selected KevinDurant, former teammate KyrieIrving and current Cleveland teammate KevinLove as part of his squad.
Curry chose JamesHarden and GiannisAntetokounmpo, the two top scorers in the NBA this season, as well as two Golden State teammates, DraymondGreen and KlayThompson.
The draft was not televised and neither James nor Curry revealed who they selected first when they were interviewed on TNT when the respective rosters were announced.
"I can't tell you [who went No. 1], man," James said. "I might have to kill you if I tell you that."
Durant is widely assumed to have been that first pick.
"Well, finally someone picked me No. 1," Durant, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft, said. "That feels pretty good. It's going to be fun competing against [Golden State teammates] Steph, Klay and Draymond."
The pairing between James and Irving will attract much attention, though James simplified his reason for tabbing Irving, who requested a trade out of Cleveland and was traded to Boston on Aug. 22.
James took a page out of the NFL draft philosophy used by many teams.
"I just tried to pick the best available players," he said. "And to be able to team up back with Kyrie, it's always special. Along with Kevin Love, for us to have another weekend to bring back all the memories that we had when we were together.
"So Kyrie was available in the draft board, he's one of the best point guards we have in our league, so it was an easy choice for me."
James had the top pick, earning that right as the top vote-getter, while Curry had the first choice in the reserve round after the starters were picked, meaning he passed on 2017 NBA MVP RussellWestbrook, who wound up on Team LeBron.
James also selected the New Orleans twin towers AnthonyDavis and DeMarcusCousins, the Washington backcourt of JohnWall and BradleyBeal, LaMarcusAldridge of San Antonio, Indiana's VictorOladipo and KristapsPorzingis of New York.
James' team features five players who have earned All-Star Game MVP recognition -- James (2006 and 2008), Westbrook (2015 and 2016), Durant (2012), Irving (2014) and Davis (2017).
Curry selected starters DeMarDeRozan of Toronto and JoelEmbiid of Philadelphia, then picked Golden State teammates Thompson and Green, as well as Minnesota's JimmyButler and Karl-AnthonyTowns, Toronto's KyleLowry, Portland's DamianLillard, and Boston's AlHorford.
James made his picks from the Cavaliers' practice facility in Independence. Curry madehis selections from his house. They team captains had some fun, saying they thought about making trades, which actually made them sympathize with members of NBA front offices.
"Unlike [Golden State GM] BobMyers and unlike [Cleveland GM] Koby [Altman], we get to pick from a lot of All-Stars," James said with a laugh. "We don't have to figure out guys with potential or guys that are coming out of college, or guys that's coming from overseas.
"We get to go after 22 All-Stars when we do our draft, so it's definitely a lot easier for us."
The NBA has come under fire for not broadcasting the draft. That decision was made to protect players from potential embarrassment of being selected with the last pick.
"This thing should have been televised," James said. "We didn't think this out all the way though... the fans should have been a part of this, for sure."
"Hopefully, we're both the captains again and we can broadcast it to the world in real time," he said. "But it was cool to get it behind closed doors with just me and Bron talking, just going through these names.
"It was crazy."