Captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets have selected the team rosters for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
The rosters for Team LeBron and Team Durant were revealed last night in TNT’s presentation of the NBA All-Star Draft.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was selected by James with the first overall pick in the NBA All-Star Draft. Joining Antetokounmpo and James as Team LeBron starters are Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić.
Team LeBron’s reserves are Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, LA Clippers forward Paul George, Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
Nets guard Kyrie Irving was drafted by Durant with the second overall pick in the NBA All-Star Draft. In addition to Irving, Durant selected 76ers center Joel Embiid, Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum as starters. Tatum, voted to the NBA All-Star Game as a reserve, was drafted with the starters as a replacement for Durant, who is unable to play in the game.
The reserves drafted by Durant are Nets guard James Harden, Suns guard Devin Booker, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Orlando Magic center Nikola Vučević and Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis, unable to play in the NBA All-Star Game, has been assigned to Team Durant because the player who replaced him (Booker) was selected by Team Durant.
NBA All-Star 2021 will take place on one night, with the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest starting at 1:30 a.m. CAT on March 8. The 70th NBA All-Star Game will begin at 3 a.m. CAT, and AT&T Slam Dunk will take place at halftime. NBA All-Star 2021 will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 50 languages.
In the NBA All-Star Draft, James and Durant drafted the team rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.
The two captains selected the starters in the first round and the reserves in the second round, making their picks without regard to a player’s conference affiliation or position.
As the top overall finisher in fan voting, James was awarded the first pick in the first round. Durant made the first pick in the second round.
The captains alternated picks in each round, with Durant getting the final two picks in the first round, which had nine players instead of eight because of Tatum’s addition.
As part of the NBA All-Star Game format, the two teams will compete to win each quarter for their respective beneficiaries. Team LeBron will play for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Team Durant will play for UNCF (United Negro College Fund), with both organizations providing scholarship funding to further the higher education of students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
A total of $1.75 million will be contributed to the two organizations. Each organization will receive an initial $500,000 contribution. At the end of each of the first three quarters, an additional $150,000 will be awarded to the leading team’s organization – totaling $450,000 for those three quarters.
A remaining $300,000 will be awarded to the organization of the team that wins the NBA All-Star Game. The winner of the NBA All-Star Game will be the first team to reach or surpass the Final Target Score.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, naming a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. The player who is named as a replacement would join the team that drafted the replaced player.
If a replaced player is a starter, the head coach of that team would name a new starter from his team’s group of reserves. Jazz head coach Quin Snyder will lead Team LeBron, and 76ers head coach Doc Rivers will guide Team Durant.