The NBA may be leaning toward keeping the All-Star team selections private, but someone who's likely to be named a captain is advocating for the league to give the fans what they want by publicizing the event.
ESPN's Rachel Nichols discussed the league's possible inclination to keep the new playground-style draft under wraps, in what would presumably be done to protect the egos of players who are chosen later, but Cleveland Cavaliers icon LeBron James doesn't think that's necessary.
"We're all grown men," James said Saturday, as quoted by Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon. "It doesn't stop your paycheck from coming. It won't stop you from playing time when the season starts. Trying to win. Listen, just trying to win in the All-Star Game. You want to get the best player, the best caliber of player.
"You're going to have some type of faithfulness, obviously, to your teammates. But also you want to compete. That's when our game is watched the most, in All-Star weekend. That's when all the countries come in, that's when everybody is paying attention.
"Sunday hasn't been so well the last few years and we want to try to make it much better."
In a bid to make the marquee event more entertaining, the NBA announced in October it was introducing ASG captains, with the top vote-getter from each conference getting to hand-pick their respective rosters from the pool of other All-Stars. James has led the East in votes for five straight years and eight times since 2006, and could very well do so again when Los Angeles hosts the festivities in February.
A league official told Nichols a decision has yet to be finalized, but it's likely the picks will be made off-camera to take pressure off the captains and hide messy politics, such as whether James would pick former co-star Kyrie Irving on his team. That would defeat the purpose for a lot of people who revel in knowing the order of selections and who chooses whom.
With James speaking out in favor of showing the selections, you'd have to imagine the league re-considers.