The rosters for the NBA All-Star game have been known for some time now, but last night Team Lebron and Team Durant announced which five players from their squads would start the contest which takes place in Atlanta on Sunday March 7.
And it is the announcement of Team Lebron that has got Twitter in meltdown given the quality of the team.
There has been some controversy over the decision to play the game this season, but now that the rosters and particularly the two teams have been announced, interest in the match is going to be at a peak over the next few days.
As calpain of the team that bears his name, it is unsurprising that LeBron James handed himself a starting role for the team. His first pick, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) was also named a starter alongside Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) and Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets).
When Giannis was informed of the strength of Team Lebron during a post-game press conference, he felt that the result of the All Star Game was a foregone conclusion.
“Yeah, it’s over guys. Me, LeBron, Luka, Jokic and Steph? Man, that’s a good starting 5.” 😂
— SLAM PH (@SLAMonlineph) March 5, 2021
There is also great strength in depth for Team LeBron with Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Paul George (LA Clippers), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers) and Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) serving as reserves.
It is an immensely talented squad and all the more remarkable as it will be the first time that Steph Curry and LeBron James have been on the same team together in their careers.
Kevin Durant’s team may not have quite the same stellar depth of talent as Team LeBron does, but this is by no means a weakened team. However, they are already at a disadvantage as two players, Durant himself and Lakers star Anthony Davis, cannot play in the game.
Team LeBron and Team Durant are set.
Who you got 👀 pic.twitter.com/mw3nykmji0
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 5, 2021
Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets) will start for the team along with Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards) and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics).
Tatum, who was only originally selected as Durant’s replacement, will start the game in his place.
The reserves for Team Durant include James Harden (Brooklyn Nets), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Julius Randle (New York Knicks), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic) and Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz).
Utah Coach Quin Snyder will take on the head coach role for Team LeBron, while 76ers Headcoach Doc Rivers will do likewise for Team Durant.
Additional Contests & Charitable Beneficiaries
This will be the 70th time that the NBA All-Star Game will be held and as part of the celebrations a number of contests will also be held before and during the game.
A 3-Point Contest will start at around 6.30pm ET and there will also be a Slam Dunk Challenge taking place at half time. Around 215 countries across the world will be showing the game live across 50 different languages.
Team LeBron will play for the benefit of Thurgood Marshall College Fund while Team Durant will play for UNCF (United Negro College Fund) with around $1.75 million contributed to the two organisations across the evening.