Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant thinks the NBA All-Star Game’s new playground style, pick-your-teams format is “cool” but expressed a lack of desire to be the Western Conference’s captain — in which case he’d be in charge of drafting a roster from a pool of players voted as All-Stars by fans, coaches and media.
“I don’t want to do it,” Durant told The Athletic. “I’d rather somebody else do it. It’s cool to be an All-Star, but all the extra stuff … I just want to go play in the game. (The new format)’s cool, a different way, a creative way that’s good for the fans. But me, I’ll let somebody else pick the teams.”
Durant and his two-time MVP teammate Stephen Curry are currently the top vote-getters in the West, meaning one of the two would be a captain. Currently, Durant (1,326,059 votes) narrowly trails Curry (1,369,658 votes). In the Eastern Conference, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (1,622,838) leads Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (1,480,954)
Curry is much more interested in being a captain in the new format, which keeps fan voting as a key determination for the game’s starters — at 50% — while media (25%) and NBA coaches (25%) also play a role. While coaches name the reserves, it’s up to the two captains (which would currently be James and Curry) to draft a team based on the pool of players available.
“Why not?” Curry said of taking on captaincy. “I’ll be the first to usher in the new system. I used to go to the playground all the time, and you wanted to be the guy picking teams. That meant you were something on the court back in the day. It’ll be a cool vibe to see how it all shakes out and how unique you can make the lineups.”
The starters and captains will be revealed Jan. 18, and the reserves will be announced Jan. 23. The All-star game is slated for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.