If NBA commissioner Adam Silver does not select Goran Dragic to fill Kevin Love’s Eastern Conference All-Star roster spot – or any other that might come open in the next two weeks– then the Heat this season could something achieve that has never been done in the NBA. No team in NBA history has ever won a playoff series without having a player on its roster that had been in an All-Star Game at any time prior to that, according to a Miami Herald analysis tracing back to the game’s inception in 1951. The Heat has a chance to do that, unless Dragic is added to the roster or barring the addition of a former All-Star via trade or buyout.
This is the world Kristaps Porzingis is entering as a first-time All-Star in a couple weeks, when he also replaces Carmelo Anthony as the Knicks’ top pitchman. He hopes it happens organically. “That’s a good idea,” Porzingis told the Daily News about recruiting his fellow All-Stars over the weekend in L.A. “I’ll get to know them a little better, all the guys. All guys want to play with other All-Stars on their team. But it’s not something I focus on. If it happens, it happens.”
Jessica Camerato: Ben Simmons was asked if he would want to be named an All-Star replacement: "Who wouldn’t? Who doesn’t want to be an All-Star? If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, we’ve got Brooklyn tonight. That’s my main focus," Simmons said.
Chris Haynes: Draymond Green tells ESPN he believes Boston guard Jaylen Brown should be an All-Star. With John Wall out, Adam Silver must select injury replacement.
Ian Begley: Enes Kanter was playfully asked about replacing the injured Kevin Love and playing for LeBron James' All-Star team. "I might ask for a trade," he said with a laugh. "If it happens, it happens. If not, I'll go to break. I'm going to cheer for KP."
Jeff Zillgitt: Silver selected Drummond because the Pistons center “received the most voting points from NBA head coaches among Eastern Conference players who were not selected as reserves,” per news release. Same reason for Paul George replacement choice.
Chris Haynes: Draymond Green tells ESPN he believes Boston guard Jaylen Brown should be an All-Star. With John Wall out, Adam Silver must select injury replacement.
SiriusXM NBA Radio: "What matters is that the organization values me, that's very important to me." As we continue to perform better as a team, I'll get the respect I deserve at some point. If not, I see the respect on the 1st and 15th." -@trailblazers guard @CJMcCollum on not being an All-Star yet
Bradley Beal: I’m never mad about All-Star. It’s guys who get snubbed every year who’ve proven they could be All-Stars. This league, there’s 450 guys, and you’re trying to pick 24 out of the group who are having a good year. It’s a tough assignment, because you’ve got the fan vote, and it’s tough on the coaches because there’s so many guys out here who really are All-Stars. Not everybody gets a spot. I didn’t take it the wrong way. I accepted it for what it was. Like I said before, there’s guys who don’t make it every year who probably deserve to be there. For me, it was a break for my body.
Louis Williams: Y’all talking to a guy that’s been coming off the bench 7 plus years. Lol i ain’t hurt about no all star snub. It’s dope to be in the conversation. I wanted it just to represent the underdogs. Not for validation.
John Schuhmann: NBA announces that Paul George will replace DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game (on Team LeBron).
Jonathan Feigen: D'Antoni will be the second Rockets coach -- joining Rudy Tomjanovich (1997) -- to coach in an All-Star game. It is the second time for D'Antoni (2007). twitter.com/Jonathan_Feige…
Brian Mahoney: Mike D'Antoni to coach Team Stephen at All-Star Game as eligible Western Conference coach with highest winning percentage. Steve Kerr not eligible after coaching last year.
Brian Robb: Al Horford on the prospect of being the last pick if the All-Star draft order was public: "You're part of what? 24 guys? I mean, you could be at home or in a beach somewhere. You're lucky to be there and guys can't take it that serious."
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James said that just like coaching staffs can't coach the All-Star game in consecutive years, players can't be the captain to select teams in consecutive years. If a player is the leading vote getter in his conference in consecutive years, the 2nd place guy will be captain
Anthony Chiang: Dragic on not being named All-Star: "I don’t understand this anymore because back in the day with the Suns, I had the statstics and they said our record is not good. This year we have a good record, and it’s not [enough]. So it is what it is."
For the most part, the Heat brushed off the fact they won’t be represented in this year’s All-Star Game. But when rookie Bam Adebayo’s name was not on the list of players voted into the Rising Stars Challenge, the Heat were surprised. “That’s crazy. I really didn’t see that coming,” Udonis Haslem said in advance of Thursday’s game against the Kings. “There was no doubt in my mind Bam was definitely going to have a chance to represent the Heat in the rookie game. That’s very unfortunate.
James presumably selected Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant with the first overall pick in the draft, taking away the dynamic duo from his rival Stephen Curry. He was not hesitant to pick Irving, despite their falling out, according to his interview (via TNT): “I just tried to pick the best available players. To be able to team back up with Kyrie is always special. Along with Kevin Love, for us to have another weekend to bring back some of the memories that we had when we were all together. Kyrie was available on the draft board. He’s one of the best point guards we have in our league. It was an easy choice for me.”
Melissa Rohlin: KD: "I don't know for sure if I was picked No. 1. My ego was so big, I was kind of going off of that. I'm going to say I got picked No. 1 for my ego's sake. It feels good to know that my peers respect me that much to want me on their team."
Asked his thoughts about being selected by James, Westbrook started with a standard answer. "That's cool, man, that's good, man, they finally got the teams figured out," he said. Then from his nearby locker, Carmelo Anthony yelled out, "Tell 'em how you really feel!" Westbrook smiled and laughed. "But I see I was the last pick on the list -- I was just trying to figure out how ..." Westbrook said, referring to a list tweeted out by James.
Informed it was just in alphabetical order, an incredulous Westbrook yelled back at Anthony, "See, I told you, man! Alphabetical order, man! Of course I was first!" Westbrook walked away laughing, continuing on with Anthony, "Of course! What you talking about?"
Josh Lewenberg: Casey on all 4 of his guys getting left out of rookie-sophomore game: "I’m shocked. I’m totally shocked and upset about that. It blows my mind that our young guys weren’t selected."
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude: Kevin Durant told me the player from the Eastern Conference he's most excited to play with is Kristaps Porzingis. And he can't wait to trash talk Steph, Klay & Draymond who are on the opposite team. #NBAAllStar #draft
Brian Mahoney: #TeamLebron has all five players in the game who have won All-Star Game MVP awards: James (2006, 2008), Westbrook (2015, 2016), Anthony Davis (2017), Durant (2012) and Irving (2014).
Alex Kennedy: With Curry representing the Western Conference in a West arena, Team Steph has been designated the home team and was able to choose between wearing black or white uniforms. Curry selected the black uniforms, and Team LeBron was assigned the white uniforms as the visiting team.
Alex Kennedy: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game due to an injury, choosing a player from the same conference as the player he's replacing. Silver’s selection would join the team that drafted the replaced player.
Candace Buckner: Also to note: DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall will be teammates for the first time since freshman year of college. I may be falling for the rope-a-dope here but I’m looking forward to the possibilities of this All-Star game
Josh Lewenberg: Kyle Lowry is a fan of the new All-Star format, even if the draft results aren't being released (he's confident they'll be leaked anyway). He said he's hoping to play with, not against, DeMar DeRozan. "I've got to play with my guy. We might have to make a trade or something."
Anthony Chiang: Goran Dragic on not being named All-Star: "I don’t understand this anymore because back in the day with the Suns, I had the statstics and they said our record is not good. This year we have a good record, and it’s not [enough]. So it is what it is."
A day after Russell Westbrook called his All-Star snub "outrageous," Paul George told ESPN's Rachel Nichols it was "awesome" to see his Thunder teammate support him, while also noting Westbrook is making George's future free-agency decision "easier" to make. "Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming even more easier to make, is the character Russ [has]," George said on Wednesday. "A stand-up guy, and he has his teammate's back."
"It was awesome for a teammate to have your back and to stand up," he said. "And to be honest, he should be a starter. He's been the MVP, been the best player at his position. He should've been a starter, but that's another story. But the fact Russ had my back, that's my guy forever, and it's more apparent what this decision needs to be made when it comes down to it."
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul said he was "cool" with not being selected for the All-Star Game. His co-star and coach weren't so accepting of the snub. "I was amazed that people that should be watching games don't watch the games and see how important a guy is," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's for all the right things -- gave up space and personal accolades to make the team better. He did that and is still having one of his better years, a career year. It's perplexing."
"Second-best overall record in the NBA, No. 2 in the best conference in the league, [Paul] averages -- what? -- 19 [points] and nine assists. I mean, what are we rewarding?" Harden said after Wednesday's 104-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks. "What are we rewarding? We're winning and he's putting up the numbers. It's no question.
Joe Freeman: Lillard on All-Star berth: "It's not my first All-Star game. But I did have to make this one happen. Everybody knows that the last two years I felt like I should have made it and I didn't. But I just had to keep on playing, stay with it and stay positive."
Dwyane Wade: Big congrats @Kevin Love on making your 5th AllStar game. You’re one of the best that our game has to offer!
Joe Freeman: During a media availability about his All-Star selection, Damian Lillard was asked about Russell Westbrook's "complaining about getting snubbed" comments directed at him. Lillard's reply: "I respect Russ a lot. So it was kind of disappointing to see him say that because he's played against me, he's played against our team, he knows what I've accomplished. Not just this year, but over my career. So it was a little bit disappointing. But I know that I earned my spot this year."
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni says he's "amazed" that Chris Paul was left off the All-Star team. "It's perplexing." Asked if games missed is a reasonable excuse, D'Antoni said, "Give me a break."
Jonathan Feigen: That D'Antoni reaction to Paul being left off the All-Star team not quite posted yet, but here's D'Antoni when told at least Paul will get some rest: “I thought the All-Star games they’ve been getting rest the last five years.”
Brian Seltzer: Inside locker room, Saric reacting to Rising Stars Challenge selection. “For me it means a lot.” Also said he felt sad for Simmons that he didn’t make it to All-Star Game itself.
Vincent Ellis: Andre Drummond's agent, Jeff Schwartz to the Free Press in a release: “This is a big miss by the coaches. Andre deserves to be an All-Star. ... I guess he does have to do back flips.”
Before the Heat was snubbed in All-Star selections, no team in 25 years had been in the top four of the Eastern Conference and not had an All-Star at the time of selections. And that left the Heat’s Hassan Whiteside perplexed. “You know, it’s confusing,” Whiteside said Wednesday of the fact that bunch of teams with worse records than Miami had players selected for the All-Star Game. “I get confused about it sometimes. Is it about stats? Or is it about winning? “Certain guys, they say, ‘Oh, he’s winning. His team’s winning, so we put him on there.’ Other guys, he’s got good stats but his team sucks. So what is it about? I just [need to] understand what it’s about.”
Hassan Whiteside believes it’s also a byproduct of the Heat’s lack of national television exposure. Miami has had only ESPN appearance this season, against San Antonio, and had another telecast (against the Knicks) replaced by a Boston-Minnesota game. Miami has had no TNT appearances this season. “It got a lot to do with it,” Whiteside said. “The NBA pushes teams. The NBA pushes guys. The media pushes people. There’s teams all got Christmas games that stink, so I’m not going to say what teams, but you all know those teams that shouldn’t be playing on Christmas. But a lot of NBA teams push guys into starting.”
Fred Katz: Billy Donovan said he was "really disappointed" Paul George didn't make All-Star: "When you talk about the 12 best players in the West, I have a hard time believing he’s not one of those guys. He’s played consistently enough. He’s arguably the best two-way player in the league."
Dave McMenamin: Last night Kevin Love said LeBron James hadn’t given him the assurance he’d be drafting him yet: “He’s going to try to assemble the best team possible. I mean, he probably has a future in that, so I assume he’ll put together a damn good team. But so will Steph. Those are two smart guys.”
Karl Anthony Towns is hopeful that he gets a chance to guard Jimmy Butler in the All-Star game if the T'Wolves All-Star duo gets split up in the new selection process. "The way the All-Star Game is structured this year, God knows, I may have to go out there and guard Jimmy," Towns said prior to Wednesday morning's shootaround. "That would be a lot of fun. I'd have a blast with that one. That's the only thing I'm making as a first-year pick, if Jimmy gets the ball, he's on the other side, I want to guard him."
Victor Oladipo’s phone buzzed Tuesday. It was Pacers President Kevin Pritchard, the executive who orchestrated the move that brought Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indy last summer. He had the honor of alerting Oladipo that he was voted an All-Star reserve by NBA head coaches. For the first time in his five years as a pro, he would participate in the game showcasing the world’s best basketball players.
“Fitting that he would call me first,” Victor Oladipo said Wednesday morning. “It’s awesome. It was a great moment for me. It was just special, just hearing from him and hearing his words and everything like that was a special moment – something I’ll never forget.”
"It's pretty outrageous," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "I think it was based on simple games missed. It's similar to honors in the past where new standards are getting applied selectively. "Chris, you have to look at the impact in those games. We're 18-0 in Chris and James and Clint. Obviously, he was the primary guy driving winning when he was playing and James was out (going 4-3.) If you look at with winning as the focus, the wins Chris made happen for us, even in a shorter window, were more than enough to get selected."
Kyle Lowry will now earn $200K if he plays in 23 more games. Lowry has an All-Star bonus in his contract that is tied in with games played (65). Lowry also has a $500K bonus if the Raptors reach the Conference Finals and an additional $500K if Toronto earns a spot in the NBA Finals.
Thunder forward Paul George was among the most notable snubs when the 2018 All-Star Game reserves were announced Tuesday, an omission that left teammate Russell Westbrook stunned and frustrated. "Unbelievable. I think it's just outrageous, in my opinion," Westbrook said, demonstrably closing his eyes and shaking his head. "I don't know who else made the team but got four people from one team, you've got guys complaining about getting snubbed until they get in, you've got guys just talking about it all the time. "But the guys that deserve it -- should be in -- are not. I just don't understand. Doesn't make any sense."
"Guy leads the league in steals, competes every night, top two at his position. Don't make any sense, regardless of anything else," Westbrook, who was named to his seventh All-Star Game, said of George. "If you're going by All-Stars, there are certain All-Stars in this league. Everybody's not an All-Star. Just because you get voted in, doesn't mean you're an All-Star. I just think it's outrageous. But you know, it is what it is."
Royce Young: Carmelo Anthony on Paul George not making the All-Star team, as well as his own All-Star streak coming to an end: “Coming here I knew this would be a sacrifice, a full sacrifice for me not a half sacrifice and this is part of that sacrifice.”
Victor Oladipo: Wow my first all-star game. Words can’t describe how humbled I am to represent the Indiana Pacers as an All-Star in this years all star game. I would like to thank God first and for everything he has done for me. Thank you for the ups and the downs. I would like to thank my teammates because without them none of this will be possible. Thank you to the Indiana Pacers coaching staff, medical staff, management, and day to day employees for all they have done for me since I become a pacer!. Thank you to the fans who voted for me in the fan vote.
"There's my guy right there that helped me get there & that's Dwane Casey" @Klow7 with nothing but love for Coach. #WeTheNorth
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson jokes that he will "request a trade" if Steph Curry doesn't get him at the All-Star game and then says he wishes last pick was publicized because it would be "hilarious" making fun of them
Mark Medina: Klay Thompson on being All-Stars again with Steph, Durant and Draymond: “It’s special and an honor to be there. I can’t wait, especially to share with my teammates.”
March 20, 2023 | 8:58 pm EDT Update
But Green so regularly attacked the teeth of the New Orleans defense, he took 14 free throws, hitting all 14. “Just really figuring out how to draw that foul,” Green said. “Just watching guys that get to the free throw line already, like Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) really helps out, studying their game and doing it on the court.”
Jabari Smith Jr., 19, and Alperen Sengun, 20, the Rockets’ youngest players, speak often about the weight room work they plan for the offseason. The Pelicans’ Jonas Valanciunas spent the two games in Houston showing why. “Jabari, especially, when he gets stronger, he’s going to be a problem, because he’s going to take all that contact and finish at the rim, or not get pushed off his spot,” Silas said. “The same thing for Alpi. He is lower body strong, but he can get stronger and better fit, and when he does that, he’s going to be a problem, as well. They’re going to get some grown man strength as we go here.
Clutch Points: “Keep playing that dumbass defense” – Kyrie Irving to Dillon Brooks 🍿👀 (via @DrewHill_DM) pic.twitter.com/OJGEjJplIL
March 20, 2023 | 7:56 pm EDT Update
LaMelo Ball not sure if he will wear ankle braces to prevent injuries in future
Ball said it’s too early to tell if he will change up anything in an attempt to curtail the lower extremity injuries. He’s unsure if ankle braces are in his future, or if he may need more support in his sneakers. “I have to see how I feel when I come back first,” he said, “and make a decision.”
Drew Hill: More Taylor Jenkins on Ja: “He’s excited to be a part of the group and get back and help his team. I think it is going to be a seamless integration. We know how important he is to us, and he knows how important his teammates are to him.”
Dalton Johnson: Jalen Green is available for the Rockets. He previously was questionable with a left thigh contusion