Giannis top pick for LeBron All-Star squad, Team KD taps Kyrie | Inquirer Sports
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Giannis top pick for LeBron All-Star squad, Team KD taps Kyrie

/ 10:48 AM March 05, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks  (Brian Fluharty-Pool/Getty Images/AFP)

LOS ANGELES – LeBron James chose Giannis Antetokounmpo to spearhead his NBA All-Star Game line-up on Thursday as rival captain Kevin Durant opted for Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving with his top pick.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar James — who had the right of first choice from the player pool after topping votes for the All-Star game — wasted no time in drafting the Milwaukee Bucks’ reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo.

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Durant, who will be a non-playing captain in Sunday’s showpiece in Atlanta due to injury, chose Irving with the second pick.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP)

James meanwhile filled out his starting line-up with Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and in-form Denver Nuggets power forward Nikola Jokic.

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Durant meanwhile added Philadelphia 76ers power forward Joel Embiid and Los Angeles Clippers talisman Kawhi Leonard with his second and third picks.

Washington Wizards league-leading scorer Bradley Beal and Boston’s Jayson Tatum completed the Team Durant starting line-up.

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Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors   (Photo by RONALD MARTINEZ / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Sunday’s All-Star game has been scheduled during a mid-season break that originally was meant to give every player a rest as part of a restructured campaign because of the shorter-than-usual off-season.

James and other top players have criticized the decision to go ahead with the game, with James last month describing the move as a “slap in the face” for weary players.

All-Star festivities surrounding the game have been scaled back and no spectators, parties or special events have been planned to coincide with the game, traditionally a highlight of the NBA calendar.

All-Star Game squads:

Team LeBron

Starters: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic

Reserves: Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, Chris Paul, Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Domantas Sabonis, Rudy Gobert

Team Durant

Starters: Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum

Reserves: James Harden, Devin Booker, Zion Williamson, Zach LaVine, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic, Donovan Mitchell

Note: Kevin Durant non-playing captain.

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TAGS: All-star game, Durant, Giannis, LeBron, NBA
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