But it didn't end that way, and the teams didn't play that way. He actually influenced both teams; his own by motivating them to play harder, and Team Stephen's by issuing a challenge.
Teams were actually playing defense, the referees had to use instant replay in one instance in the closing minutes and the final deciding play of the game was a defensive stop.
This revamp made the debuted All-Star Game to be a game this year in stead of just a show which has been criticized by fans for many years.
"I've seen the movie already", Oladipo said.
Instead (and rightfully so), they chose James, who finished 29 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
Durant added 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists for Team LeBron while Irving had 13 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds.
While a plethora of original All-Star players were injured and out of this game, the replacements stepped in and helped provide a fresh twist on the All-Star experience. "I'm patting myself on the back".
This year, the National Basketball Association abandoned the traditional All-Star game format, which pitted the Eastern Conference all-stars against the Western Conference all-stars.
The second half ensued and after some back and forth between the two teams, Team Stephen was leading by three going into the fourth quarter, 112-109.
Two intriguing subplots with Team LeBron are that James is teaming up again with Kyrie Irving, the Boston guard who campaigned to leave James' side in Cleveland last summer; and Russell Westbrook is once again teammates with Kevin Durant, who ditched him in Oklahoma City in 2016 to win a championship in Oakland previous year. "It doesn't always work that way, but when you have All-Stars with guys with high IQ and guys that want to play the game and play the game the right way, it works out for the best".
Houston coach Mike D'Antoni coached Team Stephen. But they made up for it with effort, finishing the game with 18 personal fouls to 8 by Steph's team, and a 22-6 disparity in free throws. "It was the best one I've been a part of". "Should be a little more competitive, a little more intense on the court tomorrow". It's a blast to watch Curry shoot and the All-Star Game setting gives him more liberty to pull the trigger from further out than he normally would. "That changed it up and gave it a new-found energy".
The All-Star Game took place in L.A., but the home fans did not have a single Clipper or Laker to cheer on.
The only thing on the mind of LeBron is chasing the ghost of Michael Jordan.
After James tied the game with 1:16 remaining, both sides missed chances.
This is when Kyrie swooped in and Lebron knew just how to proceed. "It just felt good when it left my hands". James selected his team in the NBA's new "pick-em" format. "It's an incredible accomplishment, an fantastic honor, but if you're thinking about it in the perspective of getting rest and really taking advantage of the full slate of All-Star break, it doesn't really start for us until right now".