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LeBron James picked exactly who he should have in the All-Star Draft

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Ohhh, LeBron you are smart.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is very smart. In the first-ever live NBA All-Star Game Draft, The King selected almost every major player who has been connected to playing with him in Los Angeles.

James picked Kevin Durant first, Kyrie Irving second, Kawhi Leonard third, Anthony Davis fifth and Klay Thompson sixth. The Lakers offered every player not names James to the Pelicans for Davis leading up to the trade deadline. Durant, Irving, Leonard and Thompson will each be unrestricted free agents free to sign with any team this summer.

That’s a chess move if we’ve ever seen one. First, he says there’s no such thing as tampering on All-Star Weekend. Then, he makes sure he has everyone he might want to recruit to the Lakers on his team for the All-Star Game.

This is LeBron James’ world. We’re all just living in it. (Sidebar: Anyone surprised James Harden was the seventh of eight all-star starter picks? No? Moving right along.)

For what it’s worth, Giannis Antetokounmpo also put together a solid team. He’s got Joel Embiid, Paul George, Stephen Curry and Kemba Walker as his starters. Then Giannis traded Ben Simmons for Russell Westbrook, potentially putting two of the most petty NBA players (Russ and Embiid) on the same All-Star roster.

Giannis, you’re a hero.

Team LeBron

Starters: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden
Reserves: Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, LaMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal, Dwyane Wade

Team Giannis

Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Kemba Walker
Reserves: Khris Middleton, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle Lowry, Dirk Nowitzki

Here’s how the draft order went. I would know. I live-blogged it, with my commentary in italics:

LeBron’s gotta pick KD first, right? Giannis already said he’s going Steph first.

Did Giannis just say he's taking Khris Middleton with the first pick of the reserve round? Team Giannis about to get smoked by 50.

Five minutes later Of course it’s a commercial break.

Pick 1, Team LeBron — Kevin Durant

LMAOOOO — Giannis is sick

Pick 1, Team Giannis — Stephen Curry

He said he was gonna do this.

Pick 2, Team LeBron — Kyrie Irving

Giannis: “That’s a good pick right there.”

You damn right it is.

Pick 2, Team Giannis — Joel Embiid

If he puts Embiid and Russ together

Pick 3, Team LeBron — Kawhi Leonard

Pick 3, Team Giannis — Paul George

Pick 4, Team LeBron — James Harden

Pick 4, Team Giannis — Kemba Walker


Pick 5, Team Giannis — Khris Middleton

Pick 5, Team LeBron — Anthony Davis

LEBRON SAID TAMPERING RULES DON’T APPLY ON ALL-STAR WEEKEND

Pick 6, Team Giannis — Nikola Jokic

Pick 6, Team LeBron — Klay Thompson

LeBron is doing this right, man.

Pick 7, Team Giannis — Ben Simmons

LeBron is tight about this pick lmao

Pick 7, Team LeBron — Damian Lillard

Pick 8, Team Giannis — Blake Griffin

Pick 8, Team LeBron — Russell Westbrook

Pick 9, Team Giannis — D’Angelo Russell

FIRST-TIME ALL-STAR D’ANGELO RUSSELL IN THE HOUSE YOU HEARD!

Pick 9, Team LeBron — LaMarcus Aldridge

Pick 10, Team Giannis — Nikola Vucevic

Giannis is getting all the tall guys and all the Euros. Predictable.

Pick 10, Team LeBron — Karl-Anthony Towns

Pick 11, Team Giannis — Kyle Lowry

Pick 12, Team LeBron — Bradley Beal

LMAOOOO. Bradley “I don’t care who goes last” Beal went last

Pick 13, Team LeBron — Dwyane Wade

Pick 13, Team Giannis — Dirk Nowitzki

We have a trade

They just swapped Ben Simmons for Russell Westbrook. Now LeBron and Ben are on the same team, and so are Joel and Russ.