After saying multiple times over the past few months th…

After saying multiple times over the past few months that becoming an all-star was something he wasn’t worried about, something that would “take care of itself,” Middleton shared Tuesday that getting passed over multiple times did bother him. “It’s definitely disappointing,” Middleton said. “I definitely felt I should have been an all-star this year. If I wasn’t voted in by the coaches out front then I thought I should have been a replacement but they saw it a different way. I’m not going to let that kill my season. I’m not playing for just an all-star (selection); I’m playing for the playoffs, a championship team. “I definitely feel disrespected because of the numbers that I had and we had a good record. It is what it is at this point.”

More on All-Star Selections

The case for Ben Simmons to be included in the NBA All-Star team has gone all the way to the Australian federal parliament. MP Tim Watts made an impassioned plea on Thursday for the Philadelphia 76ers player to become the first Australian to make the prestigious line-up. Simmons, from Melbourne, has been continually overlooked for the showpiece game on 18 February, despite delivering an NBA rookie season comparable in terms of numbers to the likes of basketball greats Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.
After saying multiple times over the past few months that becoming an all-star was something he wasn't worried about, something that would "take care of itself," Middleton shared Tuesday that getting passed over multiple times did bother him. “It’s definitely disappointing," Middleton said. "I definitely felt I should have been an all-star this year. If I wasn’t voted in by the coaches out front then I thought I should have been a replacement but they saw it a different way. I’m not going to let that kill my season. I’m not playing for just an all-star (selection); I’m playing for the playoffs, a championship team.”
Australian MP Tim Watts stood up in parliament to explain why it’s an “outrage” that 76ers rookie Ben Simmons, who was born in Melbourne, still isn’t an NBA All-Star. Watts rattles off stats, including how Simmons has five triple-doubles, then says, “Frankly, no one with two brain cells to rub together would want Goran Dragic on their team over Ben.”
Anthony Chiang: Now that @Goran Dragic has made the All-Star game, his vacation will have to be canceled. "I think L.A. is going to be fine," he said.
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."
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.
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.
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).…
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.”
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).
David Morrow: Porzingas Westrook Wyd Bron
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
Sam Amick: Here they are...
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."
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: 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."
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.
Kevin Love: Appreciate it brother 🙌🏼🙌🏼
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.”
John Wall: Thanks!
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.
Storyline: All-Star Selections
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March 20, 2023 | 8:58 pm EDT Update
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.
March 20, 2023 | 7:56 pm EDT Update