Gerald Bourguet: Monty Williams says he’s done all he can do to make it known around the league how deserving Devin Booker is of an All-Star selection this year. “You’d be hard-pressed to name another guard who’s *that* much better than Devin.”
Playing in the Rising Stars Challenge certainly isn’t a make-or-break deal or even an accurate reflection of a player’s rookie year. But it is an opportunity for Culver to be around the best players in the league that should only help his confidence. “I think that he’s very deserving of that,” Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said Tuesday. “You look around the league and Jarrett, the way he’s come on and the way he’s progressed, his improvement and development is a great story over this last month here. . . Being around other players like that, being around other All-Stars . . . that will really help Jarrett.”
Monday was the final day of fan All-Star voting. For Alex Caruso, it was greeted with an exhale. The 25-year-old guard has enjoyed riding the wave of a surge of fan voting, clocking in a No. 4 among Western Conference guards last Thursday ahead of such esteemed players as Russell Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker. But fun is fun. Even Caruso isn’t stumping for himself at this point.
But owing to his status as a social media cult hero for the league’s most popular franchise, he’s gotten a boost among fan voting. And, yes, he gets a kick out of it. “Obviously I enjoy it. I love fans, and the fact that I have fans is an amazing thing in general,” he said. “But yeah, kind of ready for it to move along, give the guys who deserve it their attention and getting back to regular games.”
The run was fun, Caruso said. But he’s ready for it to be over. “There are people who are very deserving who have had great years,” he said. “Fans do what fans do. Especially in the era of social media that we live in, once something catches fire, it just spreads. Like I said, I appreciate all the love. But the guys who deserve it, deserve it.”
The most likely candidate to continue the Spurs’ streak is DeMar DeRozan, who has scored 21 or more points in the last 12 games in a row and 30 or better in three of the last four outings. During that 12-game span, the four-time All-Star is averaging 27.3 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 65.1 percent from the field. “The fan vote is kind of a popularity contest, but obviously DeMar should be in it with what he’s been doing, especially this last month or so,” Spurs guard Derrick White said after shootaround in preparation for Friday’s game with Atlanta.
“Look at DeMar this past month or so, he’s been doing really great things, and L.A. as well,” Spurs guard Lonnie Walker said. “But you know what? We are not here to worry about All-Star Games. We are here to try to make it to the playoffs and have a great run.”
JD Shaw: Here are the third fan returns of NBA All-Star 2020 Voting, which ends Monday: pic.twitter.com/yR0MReSvsV
Michael Scotto: Kyrie Irving on possibly starting with Trae Young for the East in the All-Star Game: “I remember taking that picture with Trae in Oklahoma City. It’s pretty amazing to see what he’s been able to do in his first two years. If that does happen, that would be great.”
Q: All-Star weekend is coming to Chicago. What would mean for you to be in the real game? Derrick Rose: It would be cool. But right now, we’re losing. That’s the only thing that’s been on my mind right now, trying to fix things here with the team. There has been a lot of long nights just trying to think and trying to put together a plan. I can only do so much. Just trying to control what I can control and be a leader for this team. Whatever this team needs, just try to be there. Being back in Chicago, I know people in Chicago are going to love it. It’s something we’ve been missing for a long time. The excitement, the buzz around it has been great. When is the last time they had it, with Mike [Jordan]?
Ryan Ward: #Lakers’ LeBron James has passed #Mavs’ Luka Dončić and #Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the #NBA in the second fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting. pic.twitter.com/AQFwNqppct
Brad Stevens reacts to the amount of votes for Tacko Fall for All-Star Game: "Obviously he's played like 10 minutes here, so he shouldn't be sixth in All-Star voting, but I get it."
“He’s playing like a dominant force,” Mitchell said. “When he’s decisive and just goes out there and tries to punish people on both ends of the floor, he turns into the All-Star that he is. Nights like this, and nights like Detroit, he did the same thing. He’s playing at a really high level right now.” But will Gobert be an All-Star? That’s the pressing question. He’s averaging 14 points and 14 rebounds per game. His game isn’t flashy. He’s not going to dribble between his legs or throw down highlight dunks. His game, for how impactful it is, is still quiet to the casual fan. It’s the reason why he hasn’t made a dent in the fan vote. It’s the reason why Boston Celtics rookie Tacko Fall has more votes than he does.
Gobert finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in Utah's 102-98 victory against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. "It's still a goal of mine of course, but our No. 1 focus is for us to keep getting better and to win games," Gobert told ESPN. "The rest is gonna take care of itself.
"I think for him, he's been here longer than me, he's been underrated for his whole career," Mitchell said. "I think he probably saw what happened, probably saw the [All-Star] voting and was like, 'All right, cool,' and went out there and dominated the game like he was supposed to. He's gonna keep doing it and it's not gonna be based off of whether he's in the All-Star voting with the fans or not, he deserves it and I think he'll get it."
But Gobert paid it no attention as he scanned his phone. He first looked at scores from around the NBA and made note that the Dallas Mavericks indeed hung on to beat the Brooklyn Nets. He was then asked if he saw the initial returns from All-Star voting, in which he didn’t make the top 10, and he said he hadn’t used that omission as motivation. And Donovan Mitchell is calling hogwash. “I guarantee you big fella saw it,” Mitchell said. “He sees everything.”
Farbod Esnaashari: Montrezl Harrell on All-Star game aspirations: "It's not up for me to decide... I don't really pay attention to any individual goals or individual accolades. It's about the team, and I want to be holding up that trophy where it means the most at the end."
Farbod Esnaashari: Reporter: Do you pay attention to All-Star voting? Kawhi: No. pic.twitter.com/GiOhbGUQrT
Chris Kirschner: Trae Young leads the fan vote for Eastern Conference guards. pic.twitter.com/wROJkrquwk
Shams Charania: Leaders in fan voting for first return of NBA All-Star voting: Dallas' Luka Doncic and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Celtics were scheduled for an afternoon flight to Toronto and, it being Christmas Eve, players and coaches had plenty of loose ends to tie up before the holiday. Brown, even as his play this season has spawned some All-Star buzz, was in no rush to leave the practice facility. "I’m not really paying attention to [the All-Star buzz],” Brown said in an empty gym after his post-practice workout was finally complete. "It would be a blessing. It would be extremely dope to even be mentioned in the conversation. To be honest, I still think I can be a lot better. I think the best is yet to come for me this season.
Michael Scotto: Spencer Dinwiddie spoke to Kobe Bryant before tonight's game. Kobe told @SDinwiddie_25 he's "playing like an All-Star."
Asked if he thought Randle could be an All-Star this season, Knicks coach David Fizdale said, “Absolutely. I think a lot has got to go right, obviously. We’ve got to play good basketball. We’ve got to understand our roles. We’ve got to understand how to help him. But with the way that he approaches the game and his work ethic and his selflessness, I think he'll have a chance.”
Which is why even after a career-best 2018-19 campaign with the Chicago Bulls, he knows what needs to be done in order to achieve his goal of becoming an NBA All-Star. "Everything comes with winning. I feel like if we win and we're in the right positions, the sky is the limit for me," LaVine told ESPN following Thursday's practice. "I had an All-Star-caliber year last year, but we had 22 wins so it got a little bit swept under the rug. But that's how it's supposed to be when you have 20 wins. But if I continue to play the way I'm supposed to, there's no reason I shouldn't be an All-Star or All-NBA type guy."
"I expect to be there through the whole weekend, and if my legs are right, obviously I would love to [compete in the dunk contest], but I've got to make sure what's best for me and the team," LaVine said. "I've been on that stage before, but I haven't been on the Sunday night one, so I expect to be there and I expect us to move forward."
“Am I an All-Star? No. Doesn’t mean I can’t be in the future. You never know. There’s been guys like Kyle Lowry, guys who been in the league for six or seven years and they go somewhere and it clicks. No one thought D’Angelo Russell was going to be who he was this year, and then he goes to Brooklyn and turns into an All-Star. “I’ll never count myself out, but in terms of accepting who you are, I’m fine with that. I love where I’m at. I was 19 years old. I thought I knew everything and things don’t work, which is the first time in my life it didn’t work. Even at Duke it was easy for me, I was better than everybody. I come here, and I didn’t play well.
As public address announcer Paul Porter introduced that night’s “hometown hero,” a longtime Daytona Beach Fire Department employee, Vucevic kept peeking toward the row behind the scorer’s table. There, Magic chief communications officer Joel Glass and director of communications George Galante watched the announcement of the 2018-19 Eastern Conference All-Star reserves on a TV monitor. Careful not to disrespect the hometown hero, Vucevic kept averting his eyes from Glass and Galante. Then, all of a sudden, he heard Glass shout an emphatic “Yes!” Vucevic looked over again and saw Glass and Galante smiling. Galante held his fist held high in the air. Vucevic had to be sure. “Yes?” he mouthed. “You’re in!” Galante yelled.
In that overwhelming moment, on the verge of tears of joy, Vucevic had to share his happiness with two of the most important people in his life. He turned left, glanced into Section 113 across from the Magic bench, and signaled to his mom and dad, Ljiljana and Borislav Vucevic. They beamed. Now, two weeks later, with the 2019 NBA All-Star Game set for Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., Nikola still delights in his good fortune — that he earned an All-Star nod, that his parents experienced his selection with him, that the Magic are in a playoff chase and, most important of all, that he and his wife, Nikoleta, have a 2-month-old son.
He was also part of a significant battle for the game’s MVP award. Eventually, former University of Utah and current Los Angeles Laker forward Kyle Kuzma took home the game’s MVP, scoring 35 points in the game on 15-27 shooting. “I want to make the All-Star Game next year. That’s the next level,” Kuzma said. “I have confidence that I can one day be an All-Star in this league. That’s definitely a goal for me, ever since I was a kid.”
It’s not fair to say Gobert, the star center for the Utah Jazz, is unbothered by this. He’s a man who thrives off of respect. He cares what others think because he works so diligently at his craft. At the same time, he’s been able to shake off the brunt of the initial blowback from his news conference. If you asked Gobert about it, he’d shrug his shoulders. And then he would smile. And then, he’d tell you it’s all good. “It happens,” Gobert told The Athletic in an interview. “It’s not the first time I cried. And it won’t be the last time.”
Gobert thought that TNT broadcast announcing the All-Star reserves would be the culmination of his hard work, everything that he’s put into the game to get to this point. His family was watching back in France. The Jazz organization was ready to celebrate his accomplishment. Then, it didn’t happen. The phone rang. Gobert answered to his mother crying. And a night that was supposed to euphoric turned into one of the toughest of Gobert’s career. “It was a mix of everything,” he said. “It was something I wanted. I feel like I play to win. I never really get the respect that I deserve, and that’s why it’s frustrating. I get it from my teammates, my family and the organization. They all know. But the rest of the world, they don’t respect me for what I bring to the game. This was the time that I thought I was finally going to get the respect. And not having it, that was frustrating.”
Siakam scored a career-high 44 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, OG Anunoby scored a career-best 22 points, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 129-120 for their sixth straight win. "If he keeps playing like this, he's a 2020 All-Star," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Siakam.
Ryan Wolstat: I asked Siakam if he was trying to send a message tonight about all-Star snub: “Take it however you want it ... I wish I was going there.” But says he’s just going out and balling, giving his best. “I just wish my dad was there to watch that.”
LeBron James understands how much fans love talking about players changing teams, but said Saturday morning that his All-Star team selections had no ulterior motive. “That’s a great conversation,” James said. “Everyone kind of gets up for fantasy basketball talk. Guys that are restricted free agents, that are free agents, I don’t know, player options. That’s all part of the speculation that continues to drive our sport. It’s all good and well and dandy, but for me I picked according to my draft board and I picked according to who was the best available.”
For the second straight season, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James used the first pick in the All-Star draft to select Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant for his team. For the second straight year, Durant wasn't surprised at all. "What else is he supposed to do?" Durant said after Friday's 117-107 Warriors win over the Phoenix Suns.
Doncin on All-Star snub: “I wanted to go and I was very disappointed when they told me I wasn’t. What matters is the people who voted for me. I was impressed and that’s what matters most to me. Maybe next year I’ll be there.”
Vincent Goodwill: Lakers forward LeBron James said he and Giannis made their All Star selections this morning. Wouldn't reveal who he picked so 7 pm on TNT is when we'll all find out
The 30-year-old swingman really expected 26-year-old Gobert to land an All-Star spot and explained why he believes the Utah Jazz player had such an emotional response to his snub. “He’s in the Western Conference” he initially noted. “I was at the grocery store with my wife and my kid. I was in a hurry to watch my guy live. I was sure he would be in. I turned the TV on and couldn’t believe he wasn’t. I was pissed. I wanted it so bad for him” he added. “He deserved it. He wanted to be in, not only for himself. It would be huge for Europeans. When you’re an All-Star, it’s not only for you, but also for your country. That’s why I think he was so emotional. He had so much support from back home. Maybe he felt like he let us down” Batum said.
Michael Scotto: Caris LeVert on D'Angelo Russell becoming an All-Star: "It's a huge accomplishment for him, for the team, for the city. He's put in a lot of hard work. I can't imagine being traded as young as he was. That's just a testament to how tough he is mentally and physically." pic.twitter.com/2zKoTmntxv
Barry Jackson: Pacers coach Nate McMillan makes point to commend Adam Silver for naming Wade to All Star game.
Chris Dempsey: #Nuggets POBO, Tim Connelly, on his team's All-Star representation: "So excited for Nikola, but he shouldn't be our only player in Charlotte. Jamal's personal & team success made him worthy. And the impact Monte and Torrey have made merited a spot in the Rising Stars Challenge."
When the notion of the NBA inviting him to become a member of this year’s All-Star team first surfaced, Dirk Nowitzki’s first response was to have second thoughts. “At first I was a little skeptical, of course,” the Dallas Mavericks’ superstar forward said on Saturday morning. “Everybody knows that I’m not a big middle of attention guy – center of attention. But we talked about it and everybody thought it was a great idea.”
The NBA already has announced that he’ll be an honorary coach for the World Team when they play the US Team in the Rising Stars game on Feb. 15. “It’s going to be fun, Friday the coaching, Saturday competing in the 3-point contest, and then Sunday playing a bit,” Nowitzki said. “I’ll hopefully make it fun and enjoy the weekend.”
"It was a dope gesture," Wade said of Silver making the exception for himself and Nowitzki. "I told him and I said, at this point I appreciated my fans for voting for me, but I didn't want to be put in a position where he'd take a roster spot of someone who'd get their first opportunity to go the All-Star Game, or second or third. I've had 12 chances at it."
“Let’s just try to get it right,” Lindsey said. “Were not saying any of the seven players that were selected are not deserving. I just think that our guy was more deserving than any of the seven. You can go down the line and make an argument. We’ll stand our ground and stand on the facts and hopefully over time contribute to making the process cleaner.”
Eric Walden: Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, on Rudy Gobert: "I know Rudy does a lot. third-ranked defense, 15 and 13, leading shot-blocker, leading rim-protector. Those guys don’t get rewarded. … I value that side of the basketball. … It’s a snub, in my opinion, that Rudy doesn’t make it."
Jody Genessy: Intersecting. GM Dennis Lindsey said the Utah Jazz are proposing a new system to select All-Star reserves. They want a committee, not head coaches, to pick them.
Brian Lewis: Kenny Atkinson got to give D'Angelo Russell the news on making his 1st #NBA All-Star game: “Fantastic. Fantastic for D’Angelo first of all, fantastic for the #Nets organization. It’s a great honor. Never take that away from him, being an All-Star. That’s really, really special."
Brian Lewis: D’Angelo Russell on finding out he’d made his 1st #NBAAllStar game: “(Kenny Atkinson) was the first one to break it to me. I was in awe on the plane. I'm a crier, honestly. I was holding my tears in." #nets @D'Angelo Russell
Devin Booker: Shoulda been first time around... but congrats to my brother @D'Angelo Russell... People can’t change what ur destined for!!! ⭐️
Set to suit up in Charlotte during NBA All-Star 2019, Khris Middleton will make history and become the first NBA G League alum to do so in the annual midseason contest. Averaging 17.4 points on a 44/38/84 shooting clip, Middleton’s offensive firepower has helped the Bucks hold steady as the top dog in the Eastern Conference. As he began laying down the building blocks that eventually helped him earn such an honor, Middleton appeared in three contests for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants back in 2012-13, averaging 11 points and 7.7 boards.
Brian Lewis: D'Angelo Russell is the first #Nets All-Star since Joe Johnson in 2013-14. At just 22 years old, he's the second-youngest player in team history to earn an All-Star selection behind Buck Williams (who was younger in 1982 and 1983). #NBA
Shams Charania: Brooklyn's D'Angelo Russell has been selected as Victor Oladipo's replacement as an East reserve in the NBA All-Star game, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium.
Harrison Wind: Nikola Jokic on how his teammates reacted to his All-Star selection: “They were proud of me...But this is not just (about) my success. If it’s not (for) them, I’m not going to be here. Not just them. Coaches, trainers. It’s not just me of course. I need to thank them too.”
Harrison Wind: Nikola Jokic doesn’t care which team he’s chosen for (Team LeBron or Team Giannis). “I’m just glad I’m there,” he said. On the All-Stars he grew up watching, Jokic rattled off Bird, Jordan, Magic, Kobe and Shaq, T-Mac, Vince Carter, “A lot of guys from YouTube.” pic.twitter.com/nyd07kQIAw
"Rudy Gobert should absolutely be an All-Star," Snyder told ESPN. "He's one of the most impactful players in the league. This is clear, not subjective, and shows the the process of selecting All-Stars is flawed. We talk about defense being valued, but when we have an opportunity to reward it, we reward scoring again and again. Rudy is the best defensive player in the league and an offensive force when you consider his screening, his finishing and the spacing he creates with his presence."
After six-plus years of nearly constant losing, the Magic finally celebrated something big. Vucevic became their first All-Star since 2012, and they also beat the Indiana Pacers 107-100 at Amway Center. “It’s a great night,” Vucevic said later, water dripping from his hair. “It’s obviously one of the best nights that I have ever had in my professional career.”
“(It was) special night for us as a team, not only Vooch but us as a team,” Augustin said. “It’s well-deserved. Vooch has been playing great this season. He’s been carrying us this season. I’ve been playing with Vooch for three years now, and he feels like a brother to me. So to see him get such a great award and accomplishment, it means a lot to me personally.”
Matt Velasquez: With all my copy filed for the night, here's a quote from Giannis Antetokounmpo looking back at where things started with him and Khris Middleton back in 2013 in light of Middleton being named an all-star today:
Brian Lewis: D’Angelo Russell on possibly making the #NBA All-Star game: “That’s not up to me, honestly. Like I said, to be in this position where my play individually is getting that type of exposure, that’s something you definitely want to put on your shoulders. But it is what it is.” #Nets
David Cobb: Mike Conley planned for an uneventful Thursday night as All-Star reserves were announced. “I probably won’t pay too much attention to it honestly," he told me. Who can blame him? commercialappeal.com/story/sports/2…
RJ Marquez: Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge on being named an #NBAAllStar for 7th time, says he’s honored and “thankful for these guys, that’s why I’m going.” LA also set record straight on ASG team selections saying he doesn’t care and won’t let that turn into a negative. #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/nzNFUtLZUS
Nikola Jokic: Nikola Jokic upon finding out that he was an All-Star: "My girlfriend started to cry, my brothers started yelling and screaming at me, I was like, 'Guys, come on.'"
"I just want to thank the players, coaches, fans and media for voting for me, it's most appreciated," said Victor Oladipo. "I am honestly speechless just knowing I have the support of my peers, people I look up to and admire, as well as the fans. All I can say is thank you and I am working on coming back stronger not just physically, but mentally as well.”
Tom Osborn: Asked about being left off the All-Star team, DeMar immediately turned the conversation in LA's direction: "Congratulations to LA. One guy makes it from a team, we all make it. You can't make it without your teammates." #Spurs
Will Barton: Congratulations to my lil bro Jokic aka “Big Honey” on his first & much deserved all star selection. Proud of you big fella! Happy to watch you grow from ya rookie season to the best center in the league! Keep going kid you have no ceilings!
Marc Stein: When it comes to injury replacements, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver typically chooses the player next in line in the coach voting. If he sticks with that formula, Victor Oladipo's replacement will be the player who finished eighth in balloting among East coaches
Joining Westbrook as reserves in the Western Conference player pool are San Antonio Spurs forward-center LaMarcus Aldridge, New Orleans Pelicans forward-center Anthony Davis, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. Jokić has been named an NBA All-Star for the first time.
The Eastern Conference reserve pool includes three first-time NBA All-Star selections: Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Ben Simmons and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vučević. They are joined by Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo.
Bobby Marks: Rudy Gobert will miss out on a $1M bonus for not being selected to the All-Star game. He will not receive the bonus if selected as a replacement player.
Bobby Marks: Kyle Lowry will have to appear in 65 games in order to earn a $200K bonus for being named to the All-Star game. The bonus does not impact his cap hit based on the incentive being deemed likely from the prior season.
August 8, 2022 | 8:04 pm EDT Update
Marc J. Spears: The Kings have agreed to sign NBA veteran Quinn Cook to a one-year contact, source told @espn @andscape. The two-time NBA champion played for the G League Stockton Kings last season and is competing for a third point guard spot. Last played in the NBA for Cavs 2020-21 season.
The NBA informed teams Monday that players still need to have either received a primary course of a COVID-19 vaccine or been given a medical clearance from getting one in order to play games in Canada, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN. The memo also states that, should players be ineligible to play in games in Canada, teams must list them as, “Out – Health and Safety Protocols,” and that they will lose their pay for any games missed due to not being vaccinated.
This season, the Raptors will play at least 44 games in Canada: preseason games in Edmonton against the Utah Jazz; Montreal against the Boston Celtics; and Toronto against the Chicago Bulls; plus their typical 41 regular-season home games at Scotiabank Arena and any additional playoff games. The same rules apply both to going to Canada to play in a game, as well as for entering the United States. Anyone playing for the Raptors, therefore, would have to be vaccinated in order to play in any game this season. Last season, the Raptors were fully vaccinated.
This past weekend, Sacramento Kings superstar De’Aaron Fox and his girlfriend Recee Caldwell finally got married after being engaged for two years. The reception was held on Saturday, Aug. 6 in Malibu, CA.
A few of Fox’s peers also attended the wedding including Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair and Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum. Former Kentucky Wildcats Bam Adebayo and Wenyen Gabriel, who was also Fox’s teammate in Sacramento, attended the wedding. Adebayo and Gabriel were two of the groomsmen at the ceremony.