During the summer of 2010, there was a really brief instance (albeit it, really brief) that the Knicks had a small sense of hope and fans could dream about what it would be like to have the organization’s up and coming stars join forces with LeBron James. Obviously the (now) three-time NBA champion had other plans for his legacy. He shied away from potentially rising up as the Big Apple’s highly craved basketball savior.
Despite all of this, Knicks fans everywhere will need to release their resentment for one night and invest themselves in rooting for #TeamLeBron come next month. Serving as one of two captains in the NBA’s new format for All-Star Weekend, James plucked Kristaps Porzingis from the pool. The man who could have been the Knicks’ basketball savior is joining forces with the young gun many believe will have an opportunity to truly lead this team back to greatness once and for all. Oh, the irony.
Even from an unbiased perspective, #TeamLeBron looks likely to best #TeamStephen (drafted by opposing captain Stephen Curry) at first glance. This contest boasts a slew of sub-headlines to keep tabs on leading up to the big night. Former OKC Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will reunite on #TeamLeBron. What’s more, James the captain himself will once again team-up with former Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving. They’ll be joined by Cavs’ big man Kevin Love. While Durant (assumedly taken by Captain James with the first overall pick) will face off against Golden State mates Curry, Thompson, and Green, most existing teammates will, coincidentally enough, stick together for the All-Star Game. John Wall and Bradley Beal of the Wizards will suit up for #TeamLeBron, as will Pelicans big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. On the flip side, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry will all call Curry their leader for an evening.
Curry knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a quality sharpshooter, and rightfully so. The likes of Thompson and Green will join him in spacing the floor. In addition, #TeamStephen boasts some of the best “one-on-one” players in all of the NBA, including Harden, DeRozen, Butler, and Damian Lillard. Still, #TeamLeBron seems more well-versed and respectfully balance. They may also own more continuity and chemistry, given that more players on this squad have played alongside another at some point.
As far as Porzingis goes, he’s quite deserving of this newfound honor. The league-leader in blocks (2.3 per game) will complement James, Davis, and Cousins in what’s sure to be an intimidating frontline on defense and one that can spread the floor offensively. James is obviously keen enough on the Knicks’ star. As it just so happens, another elite talent is also excited to join forces with the unicorn.
Currently in his third NBA season, Porzingis is averaging 23.2 points on a 44/38/81 shooting clip to go along with 6.7 rebounds.