While the NBA made an intriguing change to the All-Star Game last season by switching to a playground-style pick selection, there was still something left to be desired as the drafting process was not televised nor ever made public.
As the top-two vote-getters, LeBron James, then with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry were captains. They unveiled their respective rosters on TNT but remained mum when pressed on who was taken last or anything else pertaining to draft order.
“It was great. Me and Steph had a great time drafting on the phone. It was fantasy basketball for us. It was fun,” James said this week.
Aware of the interest the drafting process drew, NBA commissioner Adam Silver suggested 2019 could see change. That appears to be the case as the league and Players Association reportedly agreed to televise the draft for the 2019 All-Star Game that’s being hosted by the Charlotte Hornets.
There was some hesitation and push back to early calls for the All-Star Game draft to be made public or televised because of implications for players who are selected late. James, however, doesn’t view the matter in that light.
“What’s bad about it? It’s All-Star Weekend. You’ve got 24 of the best players in the world that are going to make the team,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re first or last. You’re 24 of the best in the world at that point in time. I don’t think it would be bad. We’ll see.”
As for how the draft may translate to television, James put the onus on the selectors. “It all depends who are the captains,” he said. “I think obviously you have certain personalities that can add to it but it all depends how much the captains are going to get into it as far as their draft boards. I did it last year so I’m glad I don’t have to do it again.”