LeBron’s, Curry’s all-star teams collide

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, dribbles past Phoenix Suns' Elfrid Payton during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By GREG BEACHAM

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES — The NBA All-Star Game added spice to its 67th edition by allowing the captains to pick their teams. Team LeBron vs. Team Steph has replaced the traditional East-West format, shuffling allegiances and turning antagonists into uneasy teammates for today’s exhibition.

But with the world’s best basketball players all converging on Los Angeles, the hungry fans of the hometown Lakers are eager to pick their own dream team as well.

For instance, a gathering of a few hundred fans at media day in the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday caught sight of Paul George, Oklahoma City’s All-Star scorer and a Southern California native.

The pro-Lakers crowd immediately launched into a chant of “We want Paul! We want Paul!” at the smiling George, who can be a free agent this summer.

From his podium elsewhere in the room, Russell Westbrook — the Thunder’s other All-Star and LA native — snarled with sarcastic anger: “That’s out! He ain’t going nowhere!”

The game is never really the thing at the NBA’s All-Star weekend, and that’s particularly true while the show is in Hollywood for the record sixth time.

Many of the NBA’s biggest stars are returning home, since they already make their summer homes in LA.

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