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LeBron James keep his enemy close by selecting Kyrie Irving and other takeaways from the NBA’s All-Star draft

Kyrie Irving, somewhat surprisingly, was drafted by LeBron James, while Stephen Curry decided he couldn't have enough shooting.

Jay Asser 2018/01/26

LeBron James and Stephen Curry drafted their All-Star teams on Thursday and the resulting rosters left no shortage of storylines.

Here are takeaways from how the draft played out:

LeBron and Kyrie reunited

The juiciest tidbit to come out of the draft was that LeBron selected former team-mate Kyrie Irving. If he really wanted to avoid him, James could have easily forced Curry to take Irving with the last pick.

But LeBron being LeBron, was likely two steps ahead of everyone and knew it’s better to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, because Kyrie was definitely going to try to cross him up anytime they were matched up.

More Durant and Westbrook

As interesting as it is to see LeBron and Irving team up again, the lustre has worn off seeing Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back on the same side.

We already saw that dynamic play out in last year’s All-Star Game when it looked like Durant and Westbrook sort of made up. It’s more fun to see them go against each other because as we’ve seen when Oklahoma City and Golden State have met, there’s still some bad blood there.

Maybe we’ll get some team-mate passive aggressiveness, but the drama just won’t be as high as it could be otherwise.

Size versus shooting

LeBron may have ended up with the better team – he had the first pick and already had himself, the best player in the world – but Curry’s team can even the playing field with its shooting.

It’s no surprise the greatest shooter ever selected other stars who can snipe from long range. Hopefully, Curry’s team will either go for dunks or just hoist 3-pointers and it’s likely someone will catch fire.

New format has raised interest

Consider this: we’ve not even reached All-Star weekend and yet the draft has been at the forefront of the conversation, despite the Super Bowl being just a little more than a week away.

Of course, if the draft had been televised, we would have even more to talk about, but nonetheless the new format has already been a resounding success as the All-Star Game finally feels fresh. Hopefully the game itself lives up to the interest it’s generated, but even if it doesn’t, the build-up has been more than worth it.

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Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving LeBron James NBA All-Star Game Russell Westbrook Stephen Curry