Giannis Roasted James Harden in the NBA All-Star Game Draft

The Greek Freak's got jokes

NBA All-Star Draft
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

The Greek Freak’s got jokes.

For the second year in a row, Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James were the NBA’s top vote-getters for All-Star Weekend. Under the new format, which was first rolled out in 2018, the captains, regardless of which conference they play in, get to draft from a pool of eight eligible starters, before swapping picks in the “second round” for the reserves.

The impetus for the shake-up a couple years ago was to encourage the players to actually sweat (in 2016, the West scored a patently ridiculous 196 points) and hopefully play to win. It was a great idea; only, in 2018 the selections from then-captains LeBron and Steph Curry weren’t televised.

The NBA fixed that last year, and were immediately rewarded with a TV-moment, when Giannis playfully chided LeBron for choosing Anthony Davis. At the time, Davis was still playing in New Orleans, but his LA interest was public knowledge. Giannis said, “Isn’t that tampering?”

This year, during a show hosted by Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith on TNT, Giannis got more chuckles. Down to James Harden, Kemba Walker and Trae Young for his final starter selection, he immediately narrowed the field to Kemba and Trae, saying “I want a teammate who passes the ball.”

James Harden is leading the league in scoring right now, at an absurd 35.4 PPG. But Giannis has a point. Harden is perennially top five in the league in a stat called “average dribbles per touch,” and his slow-motion cuts to the basket are mismatched to Giannis’ frenetic style.

To that end, Giannis outfitted his team with similar, hard-playing guys. He’ll need them to show up, because the eyeball test suggests LeBron drafted the way better team. See their full rosters below:

Team LeBron


  • Anthony Davis
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Luka Doncic
  • James Harden


  • Damian Lillard
  • Ben Simmons
  • Nikola Jokic
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Chris Paul
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Domantas Sabonis

Team Giannis:


  • Joel Embiid
  • Pascal Siakam
  • Kemba Walker
  • Trae Young


  • Khris Middleton
  • Bam Adebayo
  • Rudy Gobert
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Brandon Ingram
  • Donovan Mitchell



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