Since the first All-Star Game in 1951, the NBA operated the game as a matchup between the two conferences. However, in the 2017-18 season, the league changed the format to feature two captains who drafted their teams, and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is the only player to have captained all four games since then.
After Team LeBron’s 170-150 whooping of Team Durant this year, teams captained by James are now 4-0 since the All-Star Game revamped. Team LeBron has defeated opposing teams headlined by stars Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and this year, both of those players represented James’ squad.
Though this year’s match transpired under unprecedented circumstances because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is a testament to James’ ability to select his team wisely in the draft.
However, following the game’s conclusion, James discussed his desire to stop being a team captain in future games.
“I hope that they allow me to retire from being an All-Star captain, so I can retire with a perfect 4-0 record,” James said. “I’ll keep that forever. But we’ll just see what happens.”
James added how he’s fortunate to have made the correct decisions when choosing his squad but also credited his teammates for their play when they step onto the floor.
“I always try to pick the right team, and I’ve been lucky enough for four years to pick the right team,” James said. “Guys go out and compete and play to win. I’ve been on the winning side of all four.”
Whether the NBA grants James’ desire is ambiguous at this point, but it would open the door for more names to receive the opportunity to orchestrate a team.
Those players could also add James to their squad, assuming he qualifies for his 18th-consecutive All-Star appearance next year.
Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell responds to James’ Utah comments
During the All-Star Game draft when James and Kevin Durant selected their teams, the former joked about the Utah Jazz franchise when Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the last two selections.
James assured the comments weren’t about Gobert and Mitchell’s abilities as players — Utah leads the league with the best record, 27-9 — but Mitchell didn’t take James’ words lightly.
Mitchell recently responded to what James said, so if this carves a path for a little rivalry between two of the NBA’s best teams, everyone will be watching.
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