The rosters for the 2020 NBA All-Star game are now set. After leading all players in fan votes, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains for the second straight season, and on Thursday night the captains got to pick their teams.
For those that don't remember the rules of the draft, here's a quick refresher: James and Antetokounmpo both made their picks without regard for a player's conference affiliation or position and each chose 11 total players to complete their 12-man rosters. The starters (selected by a combination of fan, media, and player vote) were drafted in the first round, while the 14 reserves (selected by the league's coaches) were drafted in the second round. The captains alternated picks until all players were selected.
As the overall leading vote-getter, James had the first pick in the draft and to almost no one's surprise, he selected his Lakers teammate, Anthony Davis. With his first pick, Antetokounmpo went with his Eastern Conference rival Joel Embiid of the 76ers.
You can see the complete results below (in order of selection):
The full order of the draft picks can be found below:
- Team LeBron: Anthony Davis
- Team Giannis: Joel Embiid
- Team LeBron: Kawhi Leonard
- Team Giannis: Pascal Siakam
- Team LeBron: Luka Doncic
- Team Giannis: Kemba Walker
- Team LeBron: James Harden
- Team Giannis: Trae Young
- Team Giannis: Khris Middleton
- Team LeBron: Dame Lillard
- Team Giannis: Bam Adebayo
- Team LeBron: Ben Simmons
- 13. Team Giannis: Rudy Gobert
- Team LeBron: Nikola Jokic
- Team Giannis: Jimmy Butler
- Team LeBron: Jayson Tatum
- Team Giannis: Kyle Lowry
- Team LeBron: Chris Paul
- Team Giannis: Brandon Ingram
- Team LeBron: Russell Westbrook
- Team Giannis: Donovan Mitchell
- Team LeBron: Domantas Sabonis
It's worth noting that this year's All-Star Game, scheduled for Feb. 16, will take on significant format changes when it comes to gameplay, and will also feature various tributes to Kobe Bryant. The changes are as follows:
- The score will be reset to 0-0 after the first and second quarters.
- The winners of the first, second and third quarters will receive $100,000 per quarter to donate to a Chicago-based charity of the captain's choice.
- At the end of the third quarter, the total scores from each quarter will be combined, as it would be in a typical game.
- The fourth quarter will not be timed. Instead, a target score will be set by adding 24 points (Bryant's old uniform number) to the total of whichever team has the lead through three quarters (i.e, if the team with the lead has 100 points, the target score would be 124). The first team to reach that target would win the game.
- The winning team will receive another $200,000 to donate to charity, bringing the total up to $500,000.
Though the changes are significant, they didn't have an impact on the draft itself.
Team LeBron is stacked
Considering the fact that the rosters are comprised completely of the league's top talents, it's safe to say that both squads are stacked. However, James' team stands out on paper. He and Anthony Davis already have great chemistry from their time together in Los Angeles, and around them are the reigning Rookie of the Year in Luka Doncic, the reigning Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard and the league's leading scorer in James Harden. That's a crazy collection of talent. While Antetokounmpo's starting unit – Embiid, Siakam, Walker, and Young -- is still solid, it lacks the experience and dominant perimeter play that James' roster boasts. The reserves appear to be pretty evenly matched, so the disparity in talent between the starting sets could ultimately prove to be the difference in the game.
No one wanted to play with the Rockets All-Stars
Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook were both selected pretty late in their respective rounds. LeBron made Harden the second-to-last pick of the first round, and then he took Westbrook with the third-to-last overall pick in the second round. Only Donovan Mitchell and Domantas Sabonis were selected after Westbrook.
When asked by Charles Barkley if he was going to select Harden during the draft, Giannis had an interesting answer.
"I want somebody that is going to pass the ball," Antetokounmpo replied.
Shots fired, as they say.
Team Giannis looking for revenge
As noted, this is the second straight season that James and Antetokounmpo served as the captains for their respective conferences. Last season, James proved to be a bit better of a general manager than his Eastern conference counterpart as his team beat Team Giannis 178-164 thanks largely to a big fourth quarter run. Antetokounmpo is notoriously competitive, so it's safe to say that he will be seeking his revenge this time around.