Durant says he was James' first pick for All-Star Game

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry exchanging high-fives on Thursday. The Warriors team-mates will be on opposing sides in the NBA All-Star game on Feb 18 as LeBron James chose Durant with his first pick.
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry exchanging high-fives on Thursday. The Warriors team-mates will be on opposing sides in the NBA All-Star game on Feb 18 as LeBron James chose Durant with his first pick.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

OAKLAND (California) • It was not a secret for long. LeBron James and Stephen Curry might have refused to disclose details of the selection order for the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game, but Kevin Durant revealed that he was the Cleveland star's first pick.

"Finally somebody picked me Number 1. That feels pretty good," the second pick in the 2007 NBA Draft told TNT after his triple-double - 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds - against the Minnesota Timberwolves helped the Warriors romp past their opponents 126-113 on Thursday.

Opposing captains James and Curry chose their teams on Thursday for the Feb 18 All-Star Game to be played in Los Angeles, with the former getting first dibs due to receiving more votes from fans.

The "draft", however, was not televised, and the results were kept secret because some NBA players were concerned about possible hurt feelings regarding the selection order by the captains.

According to TNT, Curry's first pick was Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

James proved he had no qualms selecting former Cavs team-mate Kyrie Irving, while Durant will also reunite with his long-time Oklahoma City team-mate Russell Westbrook. The two reportedly now have a frosty relationship.

"I mean, I just tried to pick the best available players and to be able to team up back with Kyrie it's always special, along with Kevin Love, for us to have another weekend to bring back all the memories that we had when we were together," he said. "So Kyrie was available in the draft board, he's one of the best point guards we have in our league, so it was an easy choice for me."

  • 2018 ALL-STAR GAME

  • TEAM LEBRON

    LaMarcus Aldridge
    Bradley Beal
    DeMarcus Cousins
    Anthony Davis
    Kevin Durant
    Kyrie Irving
    Kevin Love
    Victor Oladipo
    Kristaps Porzingis
    John Wall
    Russell Westbrook
  • TEAM STEPHEN

    Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Jimmy Butler
    DeMar DeRozan
    Joel Embiid
    Draymond Green
    James Harden
    Al Horford
    Damian Lillard
    Kyle Lowry
    Klay Thompson
    Karl-Anthony Towns

Westbrook on Thursday exploded for a season-high 46 points as the Thunder defeated the Washington Wizards 121-112.

The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player was perhaps making a statement after thinking he was picked last for the All-Star Game.

"I see I was the last pick on the list. I was just trying to figure out how..." the guard told ESPN, referring to James' tweet, before being told the list was in alphabetical order.

Westbrook reportedly then told team-mate Carmelo Anthony: "See, I told you, man! Alphabetical order, man!"

In a change from previous All-Star Games, the NBA opted this year to ditch the traditional Eastern Conference against Western Conference format and went with a playground-style process for team selection.

James and Curry picked their own teams by taking turns from a pool of players selected as starters and reserves.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS


PHOENIX V NEW YORK

Singtel TV Ch110, 10am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2018, with the headline 'Durant says he was James' first pick for All-Star Game'. Print Edition | Subscribe