Giannis Antetokounmpo, the current leading vote-getter for the Eastern Conference, says he would pick LeBron James first for his team in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.
The Milwaukee Bucks superstar keeps it classy, though, claiming LeBron would only come first if none of his teammates were available for selection. He credits them for his MVP-calibre season thus far, and says he would not be in this position without them.
The NBA All-Star Game is taking on a revamped look in 2018, with the leading vote-getters of each conference being designated captain duties and taking turns picking from the remaining pool of all-stars.
Also known as The Greek Freak or Alphabet, Antetokounmpo goes on to call LeBron “the best player in the world” and adds a bit of spice, too, saying that part of the reason he would select James would be to get in his good books before he becomes a free agent in the summer.
In new #NBA All-Star format, top vote getter in each conference will be a captain & get to draft his team. I asked @Giannis_An34 who he would select with the first pick. His answer may not surprise you, but his reasoning is classic Giannis: pic.twitter.com/yQUttzgWLm
— Stephen Watson (@WISN_Watson) January 5, 2018
Watching LeBron and Giannis on the same team in a meaningless all-star game is fun, but the thought of them on the same NBA team is terrifying. The Bucks have amassed nothing but length across their roster, and adding the league’s best player would make them incredibly difficult to match up against.
They are two players who can do seemingly everything on the court, but three-point shooting may be an area of weakness. While James is shooting 38.3 per cent from long distance for the season, he’s at 34.3 for his career. Antetokounmpo is averaging 29.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks, but is a career 27.6 per cent shooter on threes in his fifth season.
The only way a deal would be possible is through a trade, as the Bucks have no cap room and have to consider re-signing Jabari Parker, the second pick from the 2014 draft who will be a free agent as well.
LeBron has long been rumoured to consider moving to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers where he purchased a second home in December, but the general consensus at the moment is that he will remain with the Cavaliers.
It should be noted that while Antetokounmpo is the leader in Eastern Conference votes through the first round of voting, there are still two more rounds for James to erase his current 7,336-vote deficit.
The #NBAAllStar Voting First Returns for Eastern Conference players!
— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 4, 2018