Team LeBron selects Russell Westbrook
In selecting Russell Westbrook next, LeBron both fills the need for a backup point guard on his squad (all but guaranteeing he won’t have to play it himself), and reunites Kevin Durant with his most trusted teammate. This opens up all kinds of possibilities for trotting out the Oklahoma City tandem in the second unit, which is just absurd.
Team Kobe selects Lamar Odom
And now, Kobe is angry. He’s going to need a backup point guard of his own, and he knows who he should pick. But can Kobe really take another Celtic in Rajon Rondo – particularly one who may or may not have beef with his first point guard, Derrick Rose? For now, the answer is a resounding “no,” but Kobe makes things interesting by taking another Laker, Lamar Odom. How will 3 Lakers and 1 Celtic get along? From a basketball standpoint, I’d say “wonderfully.”
Team LeBron selects Amar’e Stoudemire
And now, LeBron is faced with a dilemma: he, like Kobe, is well aware that the correct pick there would have been Rondo, and is tempted to take him himself. But he also knows all too well that pairing him with any Celtic will drudge up ghosts of the “did LeBron quit in the semifinals?” storyline. Besides, he’s already got two elite point guards. He opts instead for Amar’e Stoudemire, who is having a monster year in New York.
Team Kobe selects Rajon Rondo
It’s simple math from here, folks. A 1 negates a 1, and 3 > 2. Now that he has three Lakers on his team, Kobe feels leagues more comfortable selecting another Celtic, especially one that plays defense as well as Rondo. In the breaking of the seventh seal and the heralding of the Apocalypse, Kobe takes his second Celtic in Rajon Rondo. Expect hellfire and brimstone, with a touch of smog, at Staples Center.
Team LeBron selects Carmelo Anthony
Kobe may have undercut the Heatles’ ability to play together in this game, but LeBron wants to give buddy Carmelo Anthony a taste of what it would be like to play with Amare Stoudemire. Or at least, that’s how the media will inevitably portray it. Asked about this, LeBron declined to comment, saying that just as Melo must do what’s best for his family, he wanted to do what was best for his team.
Team Kobe selects Manu Ginobili
Let’s not kid ourselves – Kobe would play all 48 minutes in this game if he could. And a younger Kobe might be able to keep up the intensity required by this bout for four full quarters, but he no longer has that energy. In order to give himself approximately 4 minutes of rest, Kobe selects Manu Ginobili, as his team takes on a very foreign flair.
Team LeBron selects Kevin Martin
Likewise, LeBron realizes he needs to give Wade a real backup. While he considered playing it safe and taking Ray Allen, he ultimately decided to go with a semi-sleeper, Houston’s Kevin Martin, quietly having a terrific season.
Team Kobe selects Al Horford
With 2 point guards and 2 shooting guards, Kobe continues with his philosophy of big, long players that can score effectively, play excellent defense, and get rebounds. Kobe takes the most under-appreciated player in the league, Al Horford.
Team LeBron selects Monta Ellis
LeBron decides to counter Kobe’s selection of another big man by going small, taking another high-volume scorer, Monta Ellis, to bring off the bench.
Team Kobe selects Tim Duncan
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer – particularly when you’re trying to win the most prestigious basketball exhibition game in history. Few are more familiar with the prowess of the Celtics and the Spurs than Kobe, and he shows his respect for the silver and black by selecting Tim Duncan to anchor the lineup when the team absolutely needs a stop.
Team LeBron selects LaMarcus Aldridge
With his last pick, LeBron selects LaMarcus Aldridge, mostly because Sean wanted to break character for a minute and make a last-ditch plea for why he deserves the nod on the West squad. Kevin Love may have the gaudy rebounding averages, but Aldridge is almost singlehandedly keeping Portland in the playoff hunt with Brandon Roy out.
Team Kobe selects Steve Nash
Kobe is fairly content with his roster of bigs with a few guards scattered in, but he understands that a combo guard could go a long way toward making or breaking his success in this game. With the final selection of the 2011 All Star Game draft, Kobe picks a man who handle the rock, dish assists, and shoot a high percentage from anywhere on the court: Steve Nash. (What? You didn’t expect me to be completely unbiased, did you?)
LeBron James – Dwyane Wade – Dwight Howard – Kevin Durant – Chris Paul – Blake Griffin – Russell Westbrook – Amar’e Stoudemire – Carmelo Anthony – Kevin Martin – Monta Ellis – LaMarcus Aldridge
Kobe Bryant – Pau Gasol – Chris Bosh – Kevin Garnett – Derrick Rose – Dirk Nowitzki – Lamar Odom – Rajon Rondo – Manu Ginobili – Al Horford – Tim Duncan – Steve Nash
Team LeBron’s starting lineup:
LeBron James – Chris Paul – Dwyane Wade – Blake Griffin – Dwight Howard
Team Kobe’s starting lineup:
Kobe Bryant – Derrick Rose – Dirk Nowitzki – Chris Bosh – Pau Gasol
Team LeBron might have all of the big, bright names in the NBA, but Kobe built a team on defense, height, rebounding, and efficiency – basically, Kobe’s team complements him in every way possible. Griffin and company might provide more highlights at the end of the night, but Team Kobe will definitely walk away with the victory.
Check out Sean’s take on our All-Star Draft over at Rip City Project!
Have thoughts? Leave a comment or hit me up on twitter, @snghoops.