On Thursday night, LeBron James and Kevin Durant (who will miss the game because of a left hamstring strain) drafted their teams for March 7th’s NBA All-Star Game. After Jayson Tatum was elevated as a starter by virtue of being the fourth-leading vote getting in the Eastern Conference frontcourt, the starters basically shook out along conference lines with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard swapping sides:
Tatum will join Bradley Beal on Team Durant as starters. Tatum and Beal are both St. Louis natives and Chaminade College Preparatory School grads. Five years separated the two in high school, but Beal mentored Tatum and both share trainer Drew Hanlen.
“I was excited,” Tatum said about finally playing alongside Beal. “For two guys from the same high school and same neighborhood, it don’t get no better than that. It’s just a really special moment.”
"I'm proud to share the floor with him."— NBA (@NBA) March 5, 2021
Friends and St. Louis natives @RealDealBeal23 and @jaytatum0 will play on the same team for the first time as members of #TeamDurant in the #NBAAllStar Game on Sunday, March 7! pic.twitter.com/VvjdHLRMyH
LeBron James selected Jaylen Brown as a reserve in the fourth round and announced him as, “Jaylen ‘Underappreciated’ Brown.”
“To have one of the best--if not the best--of all-time recognize you like that is amazing. And to play against Jayson, that’s going to be fun,” Brown said.
Jaylen Brown reacts to being selected for Team LeBron, and playing against Jayson Tatum in the All-Star Game. pic.twitter.com/nKqnpCvs5Q— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) March 5, 2021
Brown and Tatum will also compete against each other in the pre-game Three-Point Contest. When asked for a prediction, Kemba Walker said, “We ain’t going to do this. One of them better bring it home though. I ain’t picking one over the other. We got two of them. Somebody gotta bring it home.”
Here’s a little preview of what a Brown-Tatum showdown could look like on Sunday courtesy of their 2019 run with Team USA in the FIBA World Cup.