The NBA All-Star Game just got more exciting!
On Wednesday, the NBA and the NBA Players Association announced their agreement to televise the 2019 NBA All-Star Game Draft. Last year, the NBA made changes to the NBA All-Star Game that proved to be a major success. In 2018, the NBA ditched the boring traditional Eastern Conference versus Western Conference format. The league opted for a more relatable playground pick-up style format. Accordingly, the two players who received the most votes from each conference picked the teams from the available pool of eligible players. Unsurprisingly, those two players were LeBron James and Steph Curry.
The 2018 changes reinvigorated fan interest in the All-Star Game. Everyone was excited to see who ended up on which team and the game was much more competitive. The only thing that could have made it better was if the team selection was televised, which King James was in full support of. However, the NBA did not televise the draft last year for fear of publicly putting the players in a compromising position with having to choose one player over the other.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 25, 2018
All of those concerns have disappeared. The NBA has listened to the fans and agreed to televise the 2019 NBA All-Star Game Draft. Since the announcement, the debate regarding who will be this year’s captains and who will be picked first and last began immediately.
First or Last…Does it Really Matter?
No one wants to be picked last, but someone has to be. Is it really embarrassing to be picked last in for an All-Star Game? It is an All-Star game. Everyone is an All-Star, which means that everyone is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in the world. Whether a player is picked first or last, that player is still one of the best players in the world. Furthermore, the honor is in being in the pool of eligible players to be picked. Therefore, it does not matter who is picked first or last. The fun for the players is in being eligible. The fun for the fans is watching the teams be assembled.
Who will be this year’s team captains?
This is the most anticipated question with James’ move to the Western Conference. Since James left the East, that captain position is up for grabs. It may likely be filled by Giannis Antetokounmpo based on last year’s votes. He came in second behind James.
However, the captain position in the West is not as easy to predict. Most of the league’s biggest stars are in the West. Russel Westbrook, Paul George, Chris Paul, and James Harden, just to name a few, all play for Western Conference teams. Furthermore, the West has the league’s most dominant team, the Golden State Warriors (Warriors). The Warriors had four players (Curry, Durant, Green, and Thompson) in the All-Star Game last year and will likely have the same four this year. The competition for team captain in the West is stiff. King James’ move to the Lakers increased the competition that much more.
Can James and Curry be Captains Again?
However, King James stated that he would be willing to switch captains for the 2019 All-Star Game, but there is no rule requiring him to do so. Per the video above, a coach may not coach two years in a row. However, there is no such rule prohibiting a player from being a captain for two consecutive years. Therefore, James or Curry could serve as captain for the 2019 game. Furthermore, Curry expressed that he would like to serve as a captain again since the game will be in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Since James is now in the West, both James and Curry cannot both be captains. Will either James or Curry receive the necessary votes to be captain? Or will someone else emerge from the West as the new favorite? Either way, it will be fun to watch. Furthermore, James and Curry are both certain to land a spot on either team.