The NBA is completely revamping its All-Star game format. The East vs. West format is gone — now the leading vote getters from each conference will act as captains and pick their teammates.
We’re so excited about the new format that we couldn’t wait until February to see how things play out. Instead, we selected our own conference pools filled with your favorite players and picked your 2018 NBA All-Star teams.
The new format will be sure to evoke some controversy about who is playing with who and why, but we’ve got it all spelled out for you here.
First things first: Here are the roster pools.
Eastern Conference Pool
- LeBron James (captain)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Kyrie Irving
- John Wall
- Gordon Hayward
- Joel Embiid
- Bradley Beal
- Kemba Walker
- Kyle Lowry
- DeMar DeRozan
- Hassan Whiteside
- Al Horford
- Goran Dragic
- Andre Drummond
- Kristaps Porzingis
- Kevin Love
- Otto Porter
- Khris Middleton
Western Conference Pool
- Stephen Curry
- Russell Westbrook (Captain)
- Kevin Durant
- Kawhi Leonard
- Draymond Green
- Klay Thompson
- James Harden
- Paul George
- Jimmy Butler
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Damian Lillard
- Blake Griffin
- Mike Conley
- Marc Gasol
- Anthony Davis
- DeMarcus Cousins
- C.J. McCollum
- Nikola Jokic
How this works
Zito Madu and I are acting as the captains. In our scenario, LeBron James is the captain of the Eastern Conference and Russell Westbrook is the captain from the Western Conference.
Zito will be playing the role of LeBron and I’ll choose Westbrook’s team. They each choose 11 players, plus a first reserve at any position, to play in the game. We didn’t break it down by position, but we did make sure that 12 players were chosen from each conference.
Here are the results, with a bit of trash talk in between:
Zito’s 1st pick for Team LeBron: Kevin Durant. Automatically I have the best two players in the NBA so I think we can end this now.
Sykes’ 1st pick for Team Westbrook: James Harden. I’m not really sure what my strategy here is right now, but I’m pretty positive James Harden is the right pick. This is going to be the year the beard finally wins MVP.
Team LeBron’s second pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Future MVP and light of the world. Giannis has improved every stat since he first came in the league, but I hope you understand the team that I’m building here.
Team Westbrook’s second pick: Karl-Anthony Towns. re:Future MVP and light of the world: I think you spelled Karl-Anthony Towns wrong.
Team LeBron’s third pick: Anthony Davis. Imagine the Ents from Lord of the Rings forming a basketball team. That’s what we have here.
Team Westbrook’s third pick: Kawhi Leonard. The only person who can stop Leonard is Leonard himself. Have you seen my guy’s hands? They’re huge. Don’t put the ball on the floor for your own safety.
Team LeBron fourth pick: Stephen Curry. I can’t believe you really wanted to stop my plan of building a team of Iron Giants and left Steph Curry on the board. I have the best shooter of all time surrounded by a bunch of Kaijus now.
Team Westbrook’s fourth pick: John Wall. I’m going to show the East some more love here. Wall could put together a really nice season in Washington. He was one of the only three players in the league last year to average 20 points and 10 assists, plus his curse words per 36 are through the roof. #TeamPetty
Team LeBron’s fifth pick: Paul George. Still fits my plan of having a team that looks like the monsters from “Shadow of the Colossus.” This will be the greatest team ever assembled.
Team Westbrook’s fifth pick: Kyle Lowry. Another point guard here might not be the best choice, but when he’s right and playing well he bends the floor like Steph Curry. He’s always boring as hell in All-Star games, though, so boo this pick if you want.
Team LeBron’s sixth pick: Draymond Green. I think I might have broken this game. This team feels unfair, but I’m adding Green with the express purpose of trash talking everyone on your team as we blow them out 160-32.
Team Westbrook’s sixth pick: Joel Embiid. Alright, so there’s no guarantee that Embiid will even be playing at this point in the season. But if he does? It’s curtains for your team. Y’all won’t score.
Team LeBron’s seventh pick: Damian Lillard. I probably should get a backup for Curry. So why not Steph Curry-lite with two rap albums? He’s not a giant like the other guys but he sure plays like one.
Team Westbrook’s seventh pick: Kyrie Irving. We reach and teach over here. That’s why Kyrie Irving is the perfect player for our squad. You can’t steal the ball from this guy and he lives for exhibition games like this one. Be prepared to have 50 dropped someone’s head.
Team LeBron’s eighth pick: Kristaps Porzingis. I overplayed my hand and let Embiid slip away because I wanted Dame Dolla. Such is life. One must learn to live with regrets, so we’re going with the next best thing and picking the unicorn exiled in New York. The plan here is to block out the view of the rim for your players.
Team Westbrook’s eighth pick: Gordon Hayward. I don’t really have anything great to say about this pick. He’s a good player and will make threes. Plus we’ll get a preview of this new Hayward-Irving buddy cop movie.
Team LeBron’s ninth pick: Jimmy Butler. Fine. He’s only 6’7, but I guess I’ll take him for his great two-way play or whatever.
Team Westbrook’s ninth pick: Kevin Love. Love is going to hit the glass hard for us and shoot threes. But more importantly, we’ve earned ourselves this charity check from Banana Republic.
Team LeBron’s tenth pick: DeMarcus Cousins. I know you’re expecting me to go for Nikola Jokic right here, but for now I still have to pick my talented but hot-tempered son. Just going to have to make sure he doesn’t play at the same time as Davis. Also, another giant.
Team Westbrook’s tenth pick: Bradley Beal. I’m pretty much morally obligated to do this as a Wizards fan. Beal should have a pretty good season — he should’ve been an All-Star last year. Shoutout to Carmelo Anthony though.
Team LeBron’s 11th pick: Khris Middleton. It was him or CJ McCollum but Middleton is 6’8 and still capable of shooting threes well, so this was really out of my hands.
Team Westbrook’s 11th pick: Kemba Walker. Walker might be the most underrated player in the league. He’s probably good for a cool 22 points and 6 assists per game next season, plus, he’s just an all-around cool dude. I win automatically.
Team LeBron’s 12th pick: Blake Griffin. This is the All-Star game and I’ll be damned if we blow your team out without throwing a lob to Blake so he can put one of your players in the torture chamber. That’s all this team is built for. Shooting a bunch of threes or otherwise annihilating anyone in the paint.
Team Westbrook’s 12th pick: Al Horford. I don’t care if you think this pick is boring. If ‘good-but-not-great’ was a single word in the dictionary, Horford would be the definition and that’s a compliment. He doesn’t do anything wrong. And we’ll let him run point a few plays for kicks and giggles.
So, for a recap:
Let us know what you think about the rosters in the comments!