James' Los Angeles Lakers were unable to swing a deal for Davis, but James drafted the New Orleans Pelicans star on Thursday when he and fellow captain Antetokounmpo sat down to choose their teams for the February 17 All-Star Game. With the final two picks, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade, James will get first dibs.
Antetokounmpo was pretty happy with his slick move: "I'm playing mind games", he jokingly said. "I'm just kidding. I'm going with my buddy Dwyane Wade". They'll be joined in the Team LeBron starting five by Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden.
"F-- no", Westbrook replied, while Embiid said of his nemesis, "I don't know why he was mad. But I want to try to pick first-year guys, first-year All-Star guys, and, of course, Khris". James pulled a fast one on fans, pretending to select Nowitzki before eventually going with his longtime friend.
LeBron kicked off the the fun draft by picking Kevin Durant.
Antetokounmpo accepted, and both players have switched teams.
That would be Khris Middleton, his Bucks teammate who was selected for his first All-Star game. Wade, however, missed the game the last two seasons while James wrapping up his second stint in Cleveland. "I'm not even going to play".
Beal added at the time, though, "Y'all can pick me last, man". Not only did Embiid lose the chance to play with his real-life teammate in the All-Star Game, he was stuck with Westbrook, who has made no bones of his dislike for Embiid. James got the first pick among the pool of starters by nature of being the league's leading vote-getter, while Antetokounmpo got the first pick once it time to pick reserves.
Team LeBron also includes New Orleans Pelicans post player Anthony Davis, Golden State wing Klay Thompson, 76ers point Ben Simmons, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, San Antonio Spurs post player LaMarcus Aldridge, Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Antony Towns and Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.
After Antetokounmpo took Middleton with the first pick in the reserve round, he selected Nikola Jokic, Ben Simmons, Blake Griffin, D'Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic and Kyle Lowry. Eventually, they came to an agreement, but not before Antetokounmpo played some hardball.
"What if you put Dwayne Wade in the trade?" he added.