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 LEBRONLaMarcus AldridgeBradley BealDeMarcus CousinsAnthony DavisKevin DurantKyrie IrvingKevin LoveVictor OladipoKristaps PorzingisJohn WallRussell Westbrook
TEAM STEPHENGiannis AntetokounmpoJimmy ButlerDeMar DeRozanJoel EmbiidDraymond GreenJames HardenAl HorfordDamian LillardKyle LowryKlay ThompsonKarl-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
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