LeBron doesn't think facing teammates in ASG would hurt Cavs locker room

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James says he doesn't think possibly playing against teammates at the All-Star Game would upset locker room chemistry.

"I hope not," James said after Saturday's shootaround. "We're all grown men. It doesn't stop their paycheck from coming. It won't stop you from playing time once the season starts."

The NBA announced a new All-Star Game format in October, in which the player with the most votes in each conference would serve as a captain and would pick his team regardless of conference affiliation.

James, a potential captain who led the All-Star vote last season, said the NBA players' focus would be on winning the game, not on who is or isn't on their team.

"Listen, we're trying to win in the All-Star Game," James said. "So you want to get the best player, you want to get the best caliber of player. Obviously you're going to have some type of faithfulness obviously to your teammates, but also you want to compete."

The league and the players' union decided the game needed a change from the long-standing East vs. West format. The pool of players is still made up of 12 players from each conference, but the order of the captains' selections is not scheduled to be made public.

James said he doesn't care whether the picks are public knowledge.

"It doesn't matter to me," James said. "It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, if I'm rewarded to be a part of the All-Star Game again, that's cool for me. It doesn't matter. All that other stuff is extracurricular."

He did note that some aspects of NBA life could stay private, referencing his postgame conversation with Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, which was scrutinized and ultimately publicized.

"Some things could be held private," James said. "Like my conversation with Lonzo. Everything doesn't need to be said, and people find out. There should be some type of privacy, so I'm OK with it."

Ultimately, James said he wants the All-Star Game to return to being a positive spectacle for the NBA.

"Our game is watched the most in All-Star Weekend. That's when all the countries come in. That's when everybody's paying attention, and Sunday hasn't been so well the last few years, and we want to try to make it much better."

The 2018 All-Star Game is set for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.