As the top vote-getters for the All-Star Game in their respective conferences, Lakers star LeBron James and Nets star Kevin Durant were named team captains for the Western Conference and Eastern Conference, respectively. That meant each player was tasked with drafting a team, an event that unfolded Thursday night on TNT.
At one point during the draft show, LeBron and Durant took a quick trip down memory as a video clip from the 2010 All-Star Game — LeBron’s sixth appearance as an All-Star, but only Durant’s first — was shown and a hilarious revelation was shared.
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Durant Was Nervous Back Then
The 36-year-old LeBron and 32-year-old Durant are now grizzled veterans, much closer to the end of their Hall-of-Fame careers than the beginning. But back in 2010, both were still relatively fresh-faced — especially Durant, who was making his All-Star Game debut in his third NBA season.
The decade-old video clip — rare footage that the NBA released last week — shows a priceless interaction between the two budding superstars.
“You look good!” LeBron, then a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers said to Durant, then with the Oklahoma City Thunder. “How you feel?”
“Good, man,” Durant replied.
LeBron then smiled: “You’re a part of history. Your first All-Star Game, you get 108,000 (fans) to come see you play.”
“Crazy, man,” Durant said.
TNT “Inside the NBA” host Ernie Johnson then brought it back to present-day Durant, remarking that it must “seem like just a blink… back in 2010 in Dallas with about a million people in the stands, huh?”
That’s when Durant came clean.
“Yeah, I mean, I was nervous to talk to Bron in that little sequence right there,” Durant said with a laugh. “But it was fun for sure.”
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Team Durant Has Three Nets
It shouldn’t have come as surprise, but by the end of the draft, Team Durant had a distinct Brooklyn flavor to it.
That’s because Durant selected his teammates James Harden and Kyrie Irving to join him as they look to take down Team LeBron. Durant, Harden and Irving became the first trio of Nets to all make the All-Star team in the same season. All three stars are currently averaging over 25 points per game; according to StatMuse, no team has had three players each average that many points in a single season.
The rest of Team Durant includes Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine, Zion Williamson and Donovan Mitchell.
Team LeBron includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis and Ben Simmons.
As for the captains, Sunday’s All-Star Game will mark Durant’s 11th appearance in the game. He’s won two All-Star Game MVPs (in 2012 and 2019). LeBron, meanwhile, will be playing in his 17th straight All-Star Game. He has three All-Star Game MVPs under his belt (in 2006, 2008 and 2018).