Durant snubs Harden in All-Star Draft
Kevin Durant didn’t want to be part of James Harden the day their partnership in Brooklyn ended.
Durant continued to pass Harden in the NBA All-Star Draft until LeBron James had to take him on Thursday with the final pick, bringing a little comedy to the process.
James was the first pick among the players in the starting squad for the Feb. 20 game at Cleveland and drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Durant took on Joel Embiid, whose Philadelphia 76ers agreed to a trade with Brooklyn that sent Ben Simmons to the Nets.
Durant had the first pick from the reserves, along with Devin Booker of the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns. It meant James had the final choice and Durant made it clear who was going to be left for him.
With his latest selection, Durant took on Utah Jazz Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, explaining with a straight face that he needed size even though defensive-minded players are hardly needed in an exhibition primarily attack-oriented.
Holding a clipboard to his face to hide his laugh, James asked Durant if Harden was healthy enough to play with the three-time scoring champion and 2018 NBA MVP, missing the last three games with hamstring strain. – left leg.
“He’s been traded. He’s healthy now,” TNT analyst Charles Barkley replied.
James also drafted former MVPs Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic into the starting lineup, as well as Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan.
Durant picked up debutants Ja Morant from Memphis and Andrew Wiggins from Golden State, and Jayson Tatum from Boston who replaced him in the starters’ pool because Durant is injured and won’t play.
LeBron team reserves: Luka Doncic, Darius Garland, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Fred VanVleet and James Harden.
Durant team reserves: Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, Dejounte Murray, Khris Middleton, LaMelo Ball and Rudy Gobert.