Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins both picked by captain LeBron James, will remain teammates in All-Star Game

by Jim Eichenhofer

During one of various recent interviews about the upcoming 2018 NBA All-Star Game, Anthony Davis half-jokingly said he expected to be drafted to a different team from DeMarcus Cousins, because “they’re probably not going to allow” the pair to be on the same squad at the midseason classic. As it turns out, All-Star captain LeBron James had other ideas, because he picked both New Orleans Pelicans bigs during the first-ever All-Star draft, which was held behind closed doors Thursday.

The results of the selections by James and opposing-team captain Stephen Curry were announced during TNT’s pregame show Thursday evening, with James joining Davis and Cousins in the “Team LeBron” starting lineup, along with Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Boston’s Kyrie Irving, who’ll be reunited for one night with James as a teammate.

Curry’s starting five consists of James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.

New Orleans (26-21) joins Golden State as the only NBA team with two All-Star starters this season. Last week, Davis said he was pleased to see Cousins rewarded as a first-time starter.

“I’m moreso happy for DeMarcus,” Davis said of both being honored with the elite status. “Not just being a starter, but being an All-Star starter. That’s huge. He’s having a hell of a season. It’s well-deserved.”

“This is the first time I’ve been in an All-Star Game with a teammate,” Cousins told local media after a Pelicans practice. “AD is more than deserving of it, as we all know. It will be cool to be there with a familiar face.”

With three weeks remaining in the pre-All-Star portion of the regular season, New Orleans is playing its best basketball right now, spearheaded by its pair of stars. Davis recently compiled consecutive 48- and 45-point games in wins at New York and Boston, while Cousins notched a 40-20-10 game vs. Chicago on Monday, the first by an NBA player since 1972.

This marks the first time in New Orleans franchise history that it will boast two All-Star starters.

“It means a lot,” Davis said Jan. 19 of the rare feat. “We’re moving in the right direction. It’s big for the organization. We’re going to try to go out there and represent the organization well.”