The 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah featured a new twist on the current format of having captains draft the two All-Star teams, as rather than being on a TV special a week prior to the game, the draft took place on the court prior to tip-off. That has made for some interesting subplots in the gambling world, where books have had Team LeBron posted as three-point favorites to win despite there not even being team rosters — based solely on LeBron having never lost as a captain.
Giannis came prepared with a notebook as he had been doing his draft prep and felt very confident in his strategy coming in, while LeBron has a well-established strategy of “pick the good players.”
🍿🍿🍿 @NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/LDpH3OfkO7
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) February 19, 2023
The reserves were picked first, as Adam Silver and the NBA wanted to avoid a “last picked” situation of someone standing by themselves at the end of the reserves picks — although, we’ll still know who that is even if they go first — and Giannis had the honors over LeBron for the first pick of the reserves. He surprised LeBron by taking Damian Lillard first over his teammate Jrue Holiday, leading LeBron to moving to Anthony Edwards as his first pick.
From there, they were off, meandering through the 22 players on the board (with a little hiccup when Giannis tried to draft Ja Morant as a reserve when he was a starter, although Giannis eventually got his man).
Jaren Jackson Jr.