LaMarcus Aldridge: 'We're all All-Stars ... just happy to be here'

LOS ANGELES -- San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge said he wasn't surprised to learn he was the last pick in the inaugural 2018 NBA All-Star draft.

"I'm not a flashy player," the six-time All-Star said. "That's OK."

Aldridge was the last player chosen by LeBron James' team, and Boston Celtics power forward Al Horford was the last pick by Stephen Curry's team, league sources told ESPN's Chris Haynes.

"We're all All-Stars, so, at the end of the day, we should be thankful to be here," Aldridge told ESPN. "Picked first, picked last, it doesn't matter. We're all competitive, too. It won't be the easiest thing to be picked last, but at the end of the day, you're just happy to be here."

Team LeBron held the first and final picks in the draft. Team Stephen acknowledged Friday to the youth at an NBA skills camp that Curry took Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo with the second overall pick.

In a new format designed to generate more buzz leading up to the 2018 All-Star Game, last month James and Curry, the top two vote-getters, selected from the pool of 22 players chosen to play in this year's mid-February classic.

The draft was not televised and the order of the draft was not revealed, but there is a strong push by fans, media and some players to air the step-by-step selection process next season. James and Curry are on record saying that the draft needs to be broadcast for all to witness.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver was a guest on ESPN's The Jump and told host Rachel Nichols, "My sense is that already what we've heard certainly from the media, even from the players themselves, I think we can have a lot of fun around the draft. So, if things go as we hope they will, I'm sure that will be something we'll sit back down and talk with the union about."

Speaking at a Basketball Without Borders camp on Friday, Horford said he would encourage the powers that be to air next year's draft, saying it's an honor to be among 24 elite players.

Said Curry: "I think the draft itself would be amazing on TV just to hear the back-and-forth between the captains and see how the teams fill out. But we have to protect our guys' [dignity]. That's the biggest thing."

Some are making the case that revealing the NBA All-Star draft order might be a substantial enhancement for the league, but not so much for some of its players who might end up as the NBA's version of Mr. Irrelevant, a title given to the last player drafted in the NFL.

It could open the door for players to be the brunt of last-man-standing jokes and memes created to ridicule a player's standing in the league.

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts recently spoke to Marc Spears of The Undefeated and shared her concerns with televising the event.

"I don't know what the big brouhaha was. Ultimately, people wanted to see the face of the guy who was picked last," Roberts said. "That may be fun television, but why? Look, we got a new format. If the players and the NBA want to have a [televised] draft later, fine. I was taken aback by the amount of attention. I think the issue was totally media-generated. You and your colleagues, and I don't fault you, were creating an issue that I don't think the fans were as interested in."

Aldridge understands Roberts' initial reluctance to televising the event.

"It's an extra layer of protection," Aldridge said to ESPN. "You don't want guys holding grudges [with captains] and it could add some animosity or some aspects to the game that you don't really need. But if guys want to know, they want to know. I don't' really care. I'm here. I'm on the team."

Curry told ESPN, "It's definitely going to be on [TV] next year." And if that's the case, the next steps will be figuring out how to establish a respectful process that doesn't expose the players to unnecessary taunts.

"We're all grown men. Everybody can handle it," Curry said to ESPN. "At the end of the day, you are an All-Star. Until there is a way to massage it out a little bit to understand what the dynamic would be if we go on TV. The NHL does it where there's an incentive for the last pick, which would be hilarious if that actually happened for us because you can go all out for whoever that last pick was to soften the blow a little bit. But no one should be ashamed."