LeBron, Durant want to set the tone for better all-star game

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) defends Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23). (Tony Dejak/AP)

LeBron James and Kevin Durant are widely considered the best two players in the NBA, and for the first time, the pair said so themselves.

On LeBron’s multimedia platform for athletes, UNINTERRUPTED, the pair talked about being the cream of the crop in the game of basketball, what it was like to have fame straight out of high school and the pressure and expectations that come with that.

One of the more interesting comments they made pertained to the upcoming all-star game on Sunday, where the two will play together for the first time.

“We’ve got to do a better job on Sunday, I agree,” James says.

“As the best two players, I feel like we can definitely take it to the next level if we just buckle up and play. Everyone is going to follow our lead,” Durant replies.

“It’s our obligation to go out and kill each other on the basketball floor, it’s our obligation,” James concludes.

They also touch on several social issues, discussing the impact of Muhammad Ali, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the current climate for athletes to express themselves on social and political issues. The video was recorded on Jan. 14, the night before the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors 118-108, and you can watch it below.

The all-star game has become a bit of a farce over the years, with hardly a lick of defence being played and the result holding no consequence for the players.

In an effort to buck that trend this season, the NBA changed the setup, deciding that the leading vote-getters from each conference would be named as team captains, and the remaining 22 players who are voted in would be selected in a playground-style draft. The winning team will also be awarded $350,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, while the losing team will receive $150,000.

James and Steph Curry were named as team captains, and although the order of the picks wasn’t revealed, it’s safe to assume LeBron selected Durant with the first pick. Both of Toronto’s all-stars, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, will play for Team Curry, while Dwane Casey and his staff will coach Team LeBron.

As for their comments regarding the all-star game’s competitiveness, only time will tell if they’re serious about playing it like it matters.

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