NBA all-stars roster

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This season sure has been a slam dunk j dragotta via Unsplash

Let’s hear what’s going on with basketball

by amir said, contributor

With all votes and decisions finalized, the 2022 NBA all-star game is officially mapped out, with team captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant drafting players for their respective teams in a live-streamed conference call. The game is set to take place in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 20, and it’s sure to be one for the books. On February 3, the day my original article about the all-star game was published, the all-star reserves were officially announced after being chosen by head coaches of the two conferences.

If you read my first article, you’ll know that I made a few predictions. Read on to see which I got right! The reserves, according to the NBA’s website, are as follows:

Eastern Conference:

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

James Harden, Brooklyn Nets (about that…)

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors (called it!)

Western Conference:

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks (called it!)

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

After the selection, two other players were added as replacements for Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, an eastern starter and western reserve respectively, who are unable to play due to injuries. Added to the list as their replacements were first-time all-stars LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets (called it!) and Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs.

The live-streamed draft took place on February 10. The rosters of Team LeBron and Team Durant, besides the eponymous team captains, are as follows:

LeBron’s starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks; Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors; DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls; Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets.

Lebron’s reserves: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat; Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks; Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers; James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers; Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz; Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns; Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors.

Durant’s starters: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers; Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies; Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics; Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors; Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks.

Durant’s reserves: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets; Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns; Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz; Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls; Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks; Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs; Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves; Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors.

Highlights of the live stream included Kevin Durant being asked to provide an update on his injury recovery process and bluntly replying “no,” LeBron bursting into uncontrollable laughter and hiding his face behind a clipboard (more on that shortly), and the usual wit and sarcasm of former NBA superstars and current analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. James Harden, who was selected as an all-star for the tenth time of his career, recently left the Brooklyn Nets, where he played alongside Kevin Durant for the Philadelphia 76ers. The lead up to and aftermath of the trade could be the subjects of their own lengthy article, but the situation clearly did not sit well with Durant. During the draft, he refused to pick Harden as a teammate and left him as the only player not to be selected. This elicited snarky comments and laughter from Charles Barkley and LeBron James, while Durant maintained a straight face. He did, however, crack a small smile a couple of times, presumably knowing full well how silly the whole situation was and how petty he was being.

This game is shaping up to be an interesting one, with legendary players on both teams and plenty of drama involved. Who will win? My money’s on Team LeBron (don’t gamble, kids) but there’s only one way to find out for sure: watch the NBA all-star game on February 20.

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