LeBron With the Draft of the Century
Thursday night marked the first ever NBA All-Star draft and boy were the results interesting.
The two captains, LeBron James and Stephen Curry, picked from a pool of 22 players that were voted by the assistant coaches in the league and the fans themselves. The “starters” were announced on January 19 and the captains were also announced, James got the first pick of the draft due to him having the most votes between all the players. There was little doubt that Curry and James would be the captains, however; when the league gave the media an update on the results in early January, we saw that James trailed Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo by about 8,000 votes. James easily made up this deficit and comfortably finished with the most votes in the league.
Once James got the first pick, the guesses started on who he would take first. Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors would be the easy pick, but it would be weird to see James and Durant share the court after the past year and all the trash talking that has ensued since Durant joined the Golden State Warriors during the 2016 off-season. The popular belief was that James would more than likely avoid ex-teammate Kyrie Irving as well and draft around certain players to avoid the awkwardness that would follow them the entire weekend. With the rumors of the Cavs trying their hardest to trade for Demarcus Cousins, people made the case that James could take either Anthony Davis or Demarcus Cousins with the first couple picks in the draft.
LeBron instead surprised us all and drafted for talent instead of personal preference. Having arguably one of the best teams ever, it seemed like James made his first 11 picks and then allowed Curry to take his picks. It has been confirmed that James took Kevin Durant first and picked with his mind instead of his heart. It can be argued that Curry with his first pick took Giannis Antetokounmpo. After the first two picks, it gets a little murky in terms of who picked who and when they did. Many argued that James then selected Anthony Davis and Curry selected James Harden. The only player that be guessed with almost certainty where he was picked is Al Horford and he was arguably the worst player in the pool of players.
James released what his starting lineup will be and it’s as followed. Kyrie Irving will start at point guard and James mentioned that at a certain point in the draft he needed a guard and that Irving is a top guard in the league. James slotted Kevin Durant at shooting guard and this was surprising to see, but Durant fits the mold of a shooting guard as he is one of the best shooters in the world. James put himself at the small forward and then put Anthony Davis at power forward with Demarcus Cousins at the five. James arguably has the better chemistry in the starting lineup with Irving and himself and then Davis playing Cousins. James rounded out his team by selecting Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Kristaps Porzingis. This team could pass as the team of the decade.
James showed in this draft that he can squash whatever beef he has with Irving and can play on a team together. The same goes with the Kevin Durant beef. James also put Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on a team together and while it seems like the beef is done, it will still be interesting to see how these two play together.
Picture Via: NBA On TNT