The 2023 NBA All-Star Game is on Sunday night at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo captaining the two teams.
It marked the sixth consecutive season that James was named captain, bringing in the most fan votes in the Western Conference. James has gone 5-0 so far and Antetokounmpo has been very vocal about wanting to hand him his first loss.
The NBA switched up the format of the All-Star draft this year, choosing to do it on the court just before tipoff. Also, in order to avoid someone being picked last, they decided to draft the reserve players first.
Antetokounmpo got the first pick of the reserves since James would be going first for the starters, and he took Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard in what was a bit of a surprise considering his teammate Jrue Holiday was available.
He wound up getting Holiday with his second pick after James took Minnesota Timberwolves youngster Anthony Edwards. LeBron then took Jaylen Brown from the rival Boston Celtics, followed by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder to Team Giannis.
James stayed in Los Angeles for his next pick, selecting Paul George of the Clippers. Antetokounmpo then selected a Southern California native of his own in DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls.
A first-time All-Star in Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers went next to Team LeBron before Giannis took Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors.
Needing a big man, James then drafted Julius Randle of the New York Knicks, making his wish come true after Randle pleaded for James to take him earlier in the week.
Antetokounmpo finished up his reserves with Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat and Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings while James took Sabonis’ teammate De’Aaron Fox and Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies.
James then went first for the starters and took Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid, who is having an outstanding season. He rounded out his squad with Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks, which wasn’t very surprising, and then his teammate Luka Doncic before finishing with the reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.
Antetokounmpo used his first pick on Jayson Tatum of the Celtics before taking Ja Morant of the Grizzlies. Giannis originally tried to draft Morant with the reserves but was politely told he was not allowed to. Giannis finished out his team with Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lauri Markanen of the hometown Utah Jazz.
Full 2022 NBA All-Star Rosters
Starters: LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic
Reserves: Anthony Edwards, Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Tyrese Haliburton, Julius Randle, De’Aaron Fox, Jaren Jackson Jr.
Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant, Donovan Mitchell, Lauri Markkanen
Reserves: Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, DeMar DeRozan, Pascal Siakam, Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis
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