For the second straight season, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo selected his All-Star team ahead of next weekend’s NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.
This year’s trade deadline has now come and gone and the league’s best Milwaukee Bucks sat on the sidelines as the action went down Thursday afternoon.
While all of the flurry of activity from around the league captivated our attention, Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo took part in his second consecutive NBA All-Star Draft Thursday morning, along with fellow captain and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.
Of course, Antetokounmpo and James were chosen as captains for last year’s All-Star Game in Charlotte and it was Team LeBron that came out on top in their 178-164 victory.
Now with Antetokounmpo looking for revenge on the three-time NBA champion next weekend in Chicago, the reigning MVP selected a squad that he hopes will give James and co. a run for their money.
For the second straight year, it was James who had the first pick in selecting the starters after being the leading vote getter for this season’s midseason classic and he tabbed his teammate Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers. Antetokounmpo followed up James’ first overall selection by picking Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid.
The four-time All-Star subsequently selected first-time All-Star and Toronto Raptors forward, Pascal Siakam, followed by Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics and second-year Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young to fill out his starting lineup.
With the right to select the first reserve, Antetokounmpo turned to his Bucks teammate and second-time All-Star Khris Middleton. He followed that up by picking a couple of big men and first-time All-Stars in Bam Adebayo and Rudy Gobert.
Shortly thereafter, Antetokounmpo picked Adebayo’s teammate in Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat and promptly picked yet another point guard, this time being Kyle Lowry of the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors. Rounding it all out, Antetokounmpo turned to another pair of first-time All-Stars in Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, respectively.
Unlike last year’s draft, there was no last-minute monkeywrench when James proposed a trade for Russell Westbrook in exchange for Ben Simmons. And as a reminder, Team Giannis will be coached by Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse and James’ squad will be helmed by Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers. And here’s the full roster for both teams, per Marc Stein of the New York Times:
The captains also announced which charity they’d be playing for next weekend with James picking the Chicago Scholars charity, while Antetokounmpo announced he’d be playing for After School Matters.
Whether Antetokounmpo’s team will get his revenge on James and co. next Sunday in Chicago remains to be seen and we’ll have all the coverage when the 69th NBA All-Star Game tips off at 7:30 p.m. central time at the United Center.