INDEPENDENCE: Kevin Love joked Friday morning that he was probably picked “dead last” by All-Star Game captain and Cavaliers teammate LeBron James.

But Love didn’t seem to care.

“I’m the guy in the pickup game during the summer where it’s like, ‘OK, he’s a big guy that can shoot. Guess I will take him,’ ” Love said after shootaround as the Cavs prepared to host the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena. “I’m not going to do the between-the-leg dunks, windmills, but I’m going to be getting those rebounds and outletting the ball. I guess I add some value with that. I know [Russell Westbrook] will like it.”

As for Love’s self-deprecating reaction, James said, “Kev would say that.”

Love was tabbed for his fifth All-Star Game on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles, although he was unable to participate last year after arthroscopic knee surgery. As leading vote-getters and captains James and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry chose their teams via conference call Thursday, Love ended up part of a former Cavs’ Big Three reunion with James and Kyrie Irving, traded to the Boston Celtics in August.

Love will also play with former UCLA teammate Westbrook, the reigning league Most Valuable Player from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I tweeted out the other day that it would have been cool to play with a childhood friend in Klay [Thompson]. Someone who I used to be over at his house, with his dad [Mychal] teaching me post moves, but I got a couple former teammates in Kyrie and Russell Westbrook,” Love said. “It’s a helluva team that both guys put together, but gotta say our starting lineup would probably go 82-0. That’s a heck of a team right there. A lot of size throughout the entire lineup. Pretty cool.”

James’ team is loaded with big men, Curry’s with 3-point shooters.

Also on Team LeBron are LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Victor Oladipo, Kristaps Porzingis and John Wall. On Team Curry are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, James Harden, Al Horford, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson and Karl-Anthony Towns.

James said he has not heard from any members of his team, most significant because it includes Irving. But James did get in touch with Westbrook, who saw an alphabetical list of the teams and thought he was chosen last. Westbrook used that as motivation, pouring in 46 points in a 121-112 home victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

“I heard from Russ, though. Not like on the phone, but I reached out to him afterwards. Like, ‘What’s wrong with you, man?’ ” James said. “We’ve got a good relationship, so it’s pretty cool.”

Told Love said his team could go 82-0, James said: “We’ve got a good team. We’re looking forward to competing. That’s what the fans want. A lot of people are very excited about the game because of the draft. There was a lot of excitement I heard about on social media and things on television. It’s up to us to go out and actually put the product on the floor now and give the fans what they want.”

As for his strategy, James said: “I drafted according to best players available. I picked, Steph picked and my next available guy was there. He took the next one, so I had to go down to who I wanted next. At some point I’ll tell you all the draft, but it won’t be here.”

Both James and Love wished the draft had been televised.

“I know I just joked about being the last pick, but even if you are, you’re still an All-Star, playing in the game, going to get your shot, it’s fun,” Love said. “It’s all part of it. I think it should definitely be televised. It kind of adds to the game, adds to the value, adds to the viewership and overall fun for the fans and that’s what it’s all about.”

Back at the 4

Love will return to his natural position at power forward against the Pacers, with coach Tyronn Lue electing to start Tristan Thompson at center as he tries to snap the Cavs out of a funk during which they have lost 10 of their past 13 games.

“That was something that we talked about early on, but this … has been our lineup that helped get us to three straight Finals,” Love said. “I still think that I’ll be playing some time at the 5. I think that there will still be some positions for a number of guys that are interchangeable, but for now going back to the 4, I feel like it’s my natural position. I’ve logged the majority of my minutes there throughout my career, so we’ll see.”

Fond memories

Love recalled growing up in Portland with Klay Thompson and getting together with his father Mychal, who played in the NBA for 13 seasons.

“We’ve got that Little League Baseball photo together,” Love said of himself and Klay Thompson. “My dad used to take photos all the time, pictures of us growing up and playing in my backyard.”

When it was suggested that Love is using Mychal Thompson’s drop-step, Love said: “Mychal would say these are the moves that guys used to kick my ass with.

‘‘Mychal would take me to their house, my dad would go over there and we would work on some moves together and after that we would play tennis-ball baseball in their front yard and hang with Mikey and Trace and the whole family.”

Wade absent

Dwyane Wade was excused from shootaround to attend to a personal matter and his status for Friday night’s game was undetermined.

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.