Silver: 2019 All-Star draft likely to be on TV
NBA All-Star 2018 is in the books after last night’s thrilling finish to the All-Star Game. Perhaps next season, though, fans will get what they wanted all along leading up to All-Star — a televised draft of the two captains selecting their squads.
As in years past, fans voted on the starting five players for each conference. The change this year was the top vote-getters — in this case, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors — were named team captain and picked their team (regardless of conference) from the remaining pool of All-Stars. Who landed on each team was known to the fans, but exactly who went when in the All-Star draft was never officially disclosed.
However, after last night’s All-Star Game, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN he was pleased with the new format for the game and, as well, is thinking next year’s All-Star draft will be televised.
“I thought it was incredible. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the players,” Silver told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne following a 148-145 win for Team LeBron over Team Stephen at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“When we sat with the union and we came up with this format, we all agreed, let’s not turn something that’s 100 percent positive into a potential negative to any player,” Silver said. “But then … maybe we’re overly conservative because then we came out of there, and the players were, ‘We can take it. We’re All-Stars. Let’s have a draft.’ So it sounds like we’re going to have a televised draft next year.”
Silver said he doesn’t know any of the particulars of what the televised draft would include, but he believes he and the union will “figure it out” as the product speaks for itself.
“I’m so thankful, and I think I know walking around the arena here the fans appreciated it just as much as I did,” he said.
“Televise it,” DeMar DeRozan of Team Stephen said of the draft. “Give the people what they want to see. I think everybody wants to see it. At the end of the day, every single person that gets picked, you are an All-Star, so it doesn’t matter where you really go, so I think televise it.”
After the All-Star game, James revealed his draft process, saying he took Golden State’s Kevin Durant first, followed by the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving and New Orleans’ DeMarcus Cousins (who missed the game due to injury). (Durant stated shortly after the All-Star draft that he thought he was picked first overall by James.)
Curry did not reveal who he selected in the All-Star draft, but said getting the best shooting was his strategy. He lived up to that by selecting his teammate Klay Thompson, the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, the Houston Rockets’ James Harden and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard — all of whom rank in the top 10 in 3-pointers made this season.
In interviews with CNNMoney.com and ESPN’s “The Jump” during All-Star weekend, Silver said he and the players agreed to hold off on televising the first All-Star draft to see how it and the All-Star Game itself were received.