LeBron James Discusses Conversation with Lonzo Ball, Picking All-Star Teams

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 14: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers listens to LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers after the game at Quicken Loans Arena on December 14, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Lakers 121-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

When asked about the new All-Star format Saturday, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James brought up his much-talked-about conversation with Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.         

According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, James said he is fine keeping the All-Star draft under wraps: "Some things could be held private, like my conversation with Lonzo. Everything doesn't need to be said and people find out. There should be some type of privacy. So I'm OK with it."

After Cleveland's 121-112 win over the Lakers on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena, an on-court microphone picked up James' words to Ball, per Vardon: "Find your zone and just stay [expletive] locked in. The media is going to ask you what I told you right now. Tell them nothing. Just be aggressive every single day. It's white noise to you. That's all it is. All right? Let's go."

An NBA official told Rachel Nichols of ESPN's The Jump (h/t Vardon) that it is likely captains for the All-Star Game on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles will make their picks behind the scenes.

In an effort to freshen the game, the NBA has gone away from the East vs. West concept in favor of a two-team draft of players voted in as starters and reserves. The All-Star teams will also play for local charities.

Holding the draft off-camera could help avoid any awkwardness that might happen in real time.

While James doesn't have a problem with that idea, he doesn't believe doing the draft on live television would be a big deal either:

"We're all grown men. 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."

Arguably the MVP front-runner this season, James could be one of the captains.

The 32-year-old veteran is enjoying one of his best seasons with averages of 28.1 points, 9.1 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game. He is also shooting a career-best 57.8 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from long range.

Former Cavs teammate Kyrie Irving is having a great year for the 24-7 Boston Celtics, and if James is a captain, one of the draft's biggest storylines will be whether he is willing to team up with Kyrie once again.

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