The 2018 NBA All-Star starters and captains will be revealed on Thursday night during TNT’s NBA Tipoff coverage, as Ernie, Shaq, Chuck and Kenny will break down the first 10 All-Stars as selected by the fans, players and media.
With the starters, there’s not a ton of intrigue, as very few surprise players end up with All-Star starting roles. The big twist this year is that teams won’t be broken into the traditional East vs. West alignments, but instead will be picked by captains, with the players receiving the most votes in each conference being the captains.
The first pick will go to the player with the most overall votes, and while Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are neck-and-neck for the top spot in the West, LeBron James has run away with the East’s top spot and is expected to be the top overall vote-getter.
If LeBron has the top pick, that means everyone but either Curry or Durant will be on the board for him to take. So, who should get that honor? The All-Star Draft will, sadly, not be televised this year (hopefully it will be in the future), but we can speculate and it probably won’t be hard to figure out who was his top pick. We asked our staff who they think James should pick first overall, starting with an old teammate.
When Kyrie Irving requested a trade away from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the sentiment was clear: Kyrie wanted to go it alone and win a championship as the centerpiece of a franchise. And what better way to troll the guy that left than making him play basketball with you again in an exhibition game in your (maybe) future home arena? The pettiness would be unprecedented in All-Star Game history. Kyrie actually had a chance to not play with someone from his conference for the first time and LeBron dragged him back to his own personal hell once more. I’m excited just writing about the possibility, even if he’ll probably pick someone who better understands the scientific method like, say, every other NBA All-Star in the history of the league. — Ryan Nagelhout
Kevin Durant (or Steph Curry):
This is the one that makes the most sense from a basketball perspective, especially if it’s Steph on the board, and is also exceptionally petty. Based on the last round of voting results made public, Curry will be the captain and LeBron should do everything in his power to break up the Warriors in the draft and make them play against each other. Most would expect him to take whatever members of his Banana Boat crew early and maybe he will, but it would be way funnier if he took this opportunity to mess with the Golden State guys.