OK Google, pick the 2019 NBA All-Star Teams

What happens when we let Google pick the 2019 NBA All-Star teams based on search engine data?

By now Google has so much information about us that they probably know who we want to vote into the All-Star game. So let's cut out the middle man and see what happens when we let Google select both teams using search engine data.

So how is this going to work?

We’re going to start by letting Google select the playing pool by listing the 24 most searched players (globally). We’ll replace the players who are projected to be injured in February with the next players in line. The top 2 will be chosen as captain, with the most popular getting the first pick. We're also going to ignore conferences, because what's the point when the teams aren't going to be chosen based on them?

Players will then be drafted based on popularity.

So, without making you wait any longer, here’s the 24 most searched for NBA players according to Google's monthly search data.

PLAYER SEARCHES STATUS
LeBron James 6.1M  
Stephen Curry 3.4M  
Kawhi Leonard 1.8M  
Kyrie Irving 1.5M  
Tristan Thompson 1.5M  
Ben Simmons 1.5M  
Lonzo Ball 1.2M  
Kevin Durant 1.2M  
Isaiah Thomas 1M (OUT - Injured - Replaced by JR Smith)
Carmelo Anthony 1M (OUT - Gone Fishing - Replaced by Fultz, then Giannis)
Jimmy Butler 1M  
Derrick Rose 1M  
James Harden 823k  
Chris Paul 673k  
Dwight Howard 673k (OUT - Injured - Replaced by Embiid)
Blake Griffin 673k  
Klay Thompson 673k  
Russell Westbrook 673k  
Anthony Davis 550k  
Donovan Mitchell 550k  
Paul George 550k  
Kevin Love 550k  
DeMarcus Cousins 550k  
Dwyane Wade 550k  

Unfortunately, not all of the players are available, so we had to bring in some replacements.

REPLACEMENT PLAYER SEARCHES STATUS
JR Smith 550k  
Markelle Fultz 450k (OUT - Broken - Replaced by Giannis)
Giannis Antetokounmpo 450k  
Joel Embiid 450k  

Team Captains

No surprises here, the most popular players in the league are last year’s captains - LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

LeBron gets to choose first.

Starting Lineups

Team LeBron

Starting Lineup: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Tristan Thompson, Lonzo Ball, and Donovan Mitchell.

The Kardashian curse has carried over to the all-star game, with Tristan Thompson being the 5th most searched NBA player. But hey, at least his team has a traditional big man (for the 10 seconds he lasts on the court before being subbed out). Lonzo Ball is the other player who doesn’t belong on this team... And no, I haven’t transitioned to talking about the Lakers (sorry Lakers fans, and LaVar Ball).

But the bad news ends there, with both Kawhi Leonard and Donovan Mitchell landing on his team to give him somebody to pass to on offense.

Team Steph

Starting Lineup: Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose.

Yes. That’s Derrick Rose in the starting lineup. No. It isn’t a typo. Rose remains one of the most popular players in the league, despite struggling to find a team who wanted to sign him at the beginning of the season.

Curry lucked out and landed Kyrie, Simmons, and Durant (I’d make a joke about Durant snaking his way to the better team, but I feel like that joke is already played out).

Starting on the bench

Team LeBron

Bench: Jimmy Butler, James Harden, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

LeBron drafted a better bench than starting lineup, so you’d imagine Butler, Harden, and Giannis would be getting subbed in rather quickly, with Giannis spending most of the game playing the big man spot.

Team Steph

Bench: Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, JR Smith, and Joel Embiid.

It’s no coincidence that two other Warriors players fell to Steph’s team. He also lucked out and got the best big men in the game in Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid. His punishment was having to take JR Smith.

Final Teams

So, who do you think wins this match-up?

Team LeBron

Team Steph

Starters Starters
LeBron James Stephen Curry
Kawhi Leonard Kyrie Irving
Tristan Thompson Ben Simmons
Lonzo Ball Kevin Durant
Donovan Mitchell Derrick Rose
Bench Bench
Jimmy Butler Chris Paul
James Harden Klay Thompson
Blake Griffin Anthony Davis
Russell Westbrook Paul George
Kevin Love DeMarcus Cousins
Dwyane Wade JR Smith
Giannis Antetokounmpo Joel Embiid
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