With NBA All-Star Weekend arriving in earnest, there is a spotlight on the new format used to divvy up teams for Sunday’s ultimate showcase. On Thursday, commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that he agreed with Stephen Curry concerning the decision to keep the selection process off television, but as you may expect, several leaks have taken place along the way, and most of the draft order has become public, even if only through strong reporting.
On Friday, Chris Haynes of ESPN broke the news of the final pick in the draft, acknowledging that Celtics big man Al Horford and Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge were the final two choices, with Team LeBron tabbing Aldridge with the No. 24 overall pick. When prompted about the process in general, Aldridge was upbeat.
“We’re all All-Stars, so, at the end of the day, we should be thankful to be here. Picked first, picked last, it doesn’t matter. We’re all competitive, too. It won’t be the easiest thing to be picked last, but at the end of the day, you’re just happy to be here.”
Beyond that, Aldridge stood up for the behind-the-scenes process, even while acknowledging that he wasn’t overly bothered.
“It’s an extra layer of protection,” Aldridge said to ESPN. “You don’t want guys holding grudges [with captains] and it could add some animosity or some aspects to the game that you don’t really need. But if guys want to know, they want to know. I don’t really care. I’m here. I’m on the team.”
Before the ESPN revelation, Horford was asked earlier in the day about his feelings, and he echoed Aldridge’s sentiments, including an endorsement of future drafts being televised.
In some ways, it isn’t a surprise that Aldridge and Horford would be left for the end, if only because of the playing styles deployed by the two veteran bigs. The duo is certainly correct in that every player has been given an honor by being selected, but in the same breath, not everyone would handle this kind of thing in a mature way, and both Aldridge and Horford did just that.