<
>

Giannis would pick LeBron for his All-Star team, jokes they could develop friendship before free agency

play
Greek Freak names his first All-Star pick if captain (0:30)

Giannis Antetokounmpo picks LeBron James as his first choice if he is selected as team captain for the NBA All-Star Game. (0:30)

Ahead of his team's 129-110 home loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo -- who currently tops all All-Star Game fan voting, including a roughly 7,500-vote lead over LeBron James -- said he'd pick the Cleveland Cavaliers star first if he maintains his advantage and is designated a team captain.

"So, first of all, if my teammates aren't available -- I'm going with my teammates -- I'd gotta go with LeBron James," Antetokounmpo said with a laugh. "The best player in the world. We can have a good relationship in free agency -- you never know, he might come play here."

This year's new All-Star Game format stipulates that the player who receives the most votes in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference will each serve as captain and will choose teams from the pool of players voted in as starters and reserves.

Antetokounmpo encouraged a push for votes for his fellow Bucks, praising their teamwork.

"Now, we have to get Khris [Middleton] and [Eric] Bledsoe -- we have to get them in. ... Without them, I wouldn't be in this situation," he said. "They make the game easier for me."

Antetokounmpo thanked fans for voting for him and also joked that "200,000 at least of those votes were from my family."

As in previous seasons, All-Star Game starters are determined by 50 percent fan voting, 25 percent media panel and 25 percent current player voting.

The next round of fan voting will be announced Thursday.

All-Star Game starters and captains will be revealed Jan. 18, and the reserves will be announced Jan. 23. Full team rosters will be announced Jan. 25. The All-Star Game will be played Feb. 18 in Los Angeles.