BOSTON (CBS) — LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will share the floor once again.
Even after Irving’s nasty break-up with the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason, James drafted his former teammate in the NBA’s first-ever All-Star Game draft on Thursday.
“Kyrie was available on the draft board, he’s one of the best point guards we have in our league,” James said after the draft, which was not televised. “It was an easy choice for me.”
Wanting to get out of James’ shadow, Irving reportedly made it clear to Cavs management that he wanted them to trade him over the summer. According to a new report, he even threatened to have knee surgery and miss the season if the Cleveland brass didn’t find him a new home. They eventually send him to Boston in a blockbuster swap, and Irving is averaging 24.5 points per game for the first-place Celtics.
James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry were the two captains picking teams on Thursday. James, who led fan voting, had the first-overall pick and used it to take Warriors forward Kevin Durant. Curry will still get to play with a pair of his Golden State teammates in the annual exhibition next month, drafting Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. He also selected Boston’s other All-Star, forward Al Horford.
Here are the rosters for both All-Star teams:
In hopes of adding some more excitement with a new format, this is the first year that Eastern Conference and Western Conference stars won’t play against each other in the NBA All-Star game. The game will be played on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles.