The 2022 NBA All-Star draft took place on Thursday night with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant being the captains after being the leading vote-getters in their respective conferences.
For James, this marks the fifth straight year he’s been a captain since the NBA switched to the new format and he will be looking to improve to 5-0. Although Durant will not be playing in the game on Feb. 20 in Cleveland, he still drafted and will captain his team.
As the leading vote-getter, James got the first pick and to no surprise, he went with Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Durant then followed that up by taking the NBA’s leading scorer in Joel Embiid.
After James picked Stephen Curry, he rounded out his starting lineup with DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Jokic. Durant completed his starting lineup with Ja Morant, Jayson Tatum, Trae Young and Andrew Wiggins as he had one extra player since he isn’t playing.
Durant then got the first pick of the reserves since he went second for the starters and he began with Devin Booker over his now-former teammate James Harden.
James followed up with Luka Doncic, adding to his already talented group of players. After Karl-Anthony Towns was selected by Durant, James went with Darius Garland, who is playing his first All-Star Game in his home arena in Cleveland.
Durant not picking Harden became a theme as he lasted all the way until the final pick. Durant finished drafting his team with Zach LaVine, Dejounte Murray, Khris Middleton, LaMelo Ball and Rudy Gobert, with him saying with a straight face that he needed some size with that last pick.
James rounded out his squad with Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Fred VanVleet. Harden then became the last pick, which caused James to ask if he was healthy since he’s missed some time with a hamstring injury. That led to perhaps the funniest moment of the night when TNT’s Charles Barkley said he’s healthy now that he got traded, drawing laughs from everyone, including Durant.
With so many stars on the court in Cleveland later this month, it will be interesting to see who takes home MVP honors. Whoever does will be the first recipient of the new Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP tropy.
2022 NBA All-Star rosters
Starters: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Jokic
Reserves: Luka Doncic, Darius Garland, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Fred VanVleet, James Harden
Starters: Joel Embiid, Ja Morant, Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, Andrew Wiggins
Reserves: Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, Dejounte Murray, Khris Middleton, LaMelo Ball, Rudy Gobert
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