Kobe Bryant: I'd Take LeBron James over Shaquille O'Neal in New All-Star Format

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers jokes with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 120-108 Cavaliers win at Staples Center on March 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant never played with LeBron James, but he told ESPN's Jemele Hill he would jump at the chance to pick him over former teammate Shaquille O'Neal if he had the first pick as a captain under the NBA's revised All-Star format.

Specifically, Kobe said he would take LeBron over the 2004-05 version of Shaq that suited up for the Miami Heat. 

"What year are we talking Shaq? ... The Miami Heat first year? No, I'll take LeBron James," Bryant said. "You kidding me? If I had the opportunity [to draft Shaq at all], yeah I would. But LB man."


James had the distinct honor of owning the No. 1 overall pick in this year's All-Star draft with fellow captain Stephen Curry, and all indications suggest he pegged Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant as his top choice. 

"Well, finally someone picked me number one," Durant told TNT's Rosalyn Gold-Onwude. "That feels pretty good."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

.@KDTrey5 😂 https://t.co/j8g9zqJY2W

Outside of Durant, LeBron's team has been ravaged by injuries to DeMarcus Cousins (torn Achilles), John Wall (knee surgery), Kevin Love (broken hand) and Kristaps Porzingis (torn ACL). 

Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George and Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond have already been named as replacements, with one spot still open following Porzingis' season-ending diagnosis Wednesday.