Reigning MVP Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Boston’s Al Horford, Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo , Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Portland’s Damian Lillard rounded out the All-Star reserves, who were selected by NBA head coaches. With Green and Thompson voted in, the Warriors are the first team to have a record-tying four All-Stars in consecutive years.
In a new format this season, LeBron James and Stephen Curry – the leading vote-getting in their respective conferences – will choose the two All-Star teams. Rosters will be chosen without regard for conference affiliation from the pool of starters and reserves.
James and Curry are scheduled to choose the teams via a conference call with league officials on Thursday; rosters will be announced later that day. There is no time limit between picks for James and Curry.
James’ and Curry’s first four selections must come from the pool of starters. James will select ahead of Curry because he finished with the highest overall voting total. Curry, however, will get the first selection among the reserves.
The NBA changed the format this season from its traditional East vs. West matchup after lackluster games the past two seasons, when players made little attempt to defend and the West nearly scored 200 points in both of its victories.
The players appear optimistic that the format will bring forth a competitive game. After he was named a captain, James made clear his intention to draft the “best team I can.”
“This is the reason they did this format, to make it very competitive,” James said. “The All-Star Game hasn’t been what it should be the last few years. I’m going to take it upon myself, and obviously the rest of the guys to go out there and play the game the right way and compete. Our fans deserve it.”
In addition to improving the competitive nature of the game, the new format could also provide an interesting dynamic for James and Curry. James will have the opportunity to select Durant, who is Curry’s teammate. James, who was named to the All-Star team for the 14th consecutive season, also could have the chance to choose Irving, his former teammate who now plays for the Celtics.
Many of the intriguing storylines surrounding the draft may remain private, though, as the league does not plan to televise the proceedings.