The NBA All Star Game: Revamped


Eli Cloutier

The All-Star draft was conducted tonight. LeBron James and Kevin Durant selected players for the respective teams, starters, and reserves. Now, the All-Star game is fine, but it could be much cooler. I have answer for how to make the game better and more fun.


The format: there will be five teams instead of two. Why five teams, you may ask. I don’t know. I believe that there are twenty-five players who deserve to be All-Stars, so that’s why. These teams will be chosen by how fun it would be for these five players to play together. Let’s begin constructing these teams. DISCLAIMER: everyone is healthy. Injuries are no fun. 


Team One: Harden to Embiid

Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers)


DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)

Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)

Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)


While I was writing this, James Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. All I wanted for Joel Embiid was a reliable guard that could pair well with him so they can win a championship, and he got it. Team one is based off of Philadelphia’s newest duo. The All-Star game is going to be a warning to the rest of the league that Embiid and Harden aren’t messing around. Joining Embiid and Harden on this team will be first time All-Star Darius Garland, whose sole job on this team will be to feed Embiid down low. DeMar DeRozan will be tasked with being the second scoring option behind Embiid, Harden will be focusing on facilitating, so that is why he isn’t the second option. Rounding out team one is Draymond Green. Green and Embiid will be a daunting defensive pair down low. Green will not be tasked with facilitating like he does with the Warriors, so he can focus the defensive side of the ball.


Team Two: My wish for the Celtics

Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs)

Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)

Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

Ruby Gobert (Utah Jazz)


As the trade deadline has passed, Dejounte Murray was not traded to the Celtics, as I wished. I thought he would have been the perfect point guard to pair with Jaysom Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He doesn’t need the ball in his hand to impact the game in a major way. I can just imagine him facilitating the ball to Tatum and Brown, chills. Even though he doesn’t need to be the primary scorer on a team, it doesn’t mean he can’t score. Murray shoots 45.3% from the field, more than five percentage points above the league average. Jaylen Brown was not named an All-Star this season, but I believed that he deserved it, so that is why he is on this team. Since the start of the new year, Brown has really dialed up his play, shooting over 48% from the field. In the month of January, he only had three games under twenty points. Also on team two is Giannis Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert, who both bolster the team’s defensive prowess though Murray, Brown, and Tatum are still good defenders. Giannis won’t have to do everything on this team, so he can manage his load


Team Three: Guard dominant

LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets)

Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)

Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)

Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat) 

Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)


This team is fun. Just imagine LaMelo Ball throwing lobs to Ja Morant. Fun. Ball’s passing ability attached to Morant’s athleticism and explosiveness would make for an insane backcourt pairing. Devin Booker will be able to space the floor with his ability to shoot the basketball from long range. Booker won’t have to create for himself as he has two other guards with above average playmaking ability to create for him, just like how Chris Paul creates for Devin Booker on a nightly basis. Jimmy Butler’s sole purpose on this team will be to provide grit and be the leader. Karl-Anthony Towns will provide size to this relatively small lineup. Outside of Jimmy Butler, the rest of this team shoots a combined 37% from three point range, so this team will be scoring at will, while hoping the other team doesn’t.


Team Four: Ball movement

Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)

Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

Zach LeVine (Chicago Bulls)

Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)

Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)


Kevin Durant and Zach LeVine should feel extremely lucky to have been selected to play on this team. They should feel lucky to play with just one of Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic, but they get to play with all three. So much is going on on this team. Trae Young throwing lobs to Zach LeVine is fun. Kevin Durant will just be able to focus on scoring due to him being surrounded by playmakers. All of the ‘who’s better’ between Young and Doncic will end with them being teammates in the All-Star game (Luka is better). Now, Nikola Jokic will have the luxury of not having to carry this team like he does for the Nuggets. He will still have to create, but way less. Just like team three, this team will be scoring at will, but defensively things could get shaky, but, this is the All-Star game, so who cares about defense! 


Team Five: Akron’s finest featuring Chris Paul

Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)

LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)

Jarrett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers)


LeBron James has played with everyone in his close friend group of Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony, besides Chris Paul, but now he gets to play with Paul in the All-Star game. Chris Paul’s point god ability next to James would be so lethal, I don’t know if they would be able to be stopped. Now add the greatest shooter of all time to this team in Stephen Curry. LeBron with either of these two would be incredible, but all three… man. Now Donvonan Mitchell would not have to be the point guard on the team so he could focus on what he does best, score. Jarrett Allen rounds out this team at the center spot. Allen wasn’t selected as an All-Star originally, but he should have. He is averaging over sixteen points and eleven rebounds along with just up one and a half blocks per game. If anyone thought Allen wasn’t upset that he didn’t make his first All-Star game, you were wrong. His first game after he was snubbed, Allen put up twenty-nine points and twenty-two rebounds. But because James Harden won’t return from his hamstring injury until after the All-Star Break, Allen was selected as his replacement, deservedly so. 


As I wrap up, I want to shout out Andrew Wiggins and Khris Middleton. They both made the real life All-Star game, but they didn’t make my make believe All-Star game. I drew inspiration for this format from the newly revamped Risings Stars game which took on the more than two team idea. If Adam Silver is reading this, you are allowed to adopt this format.