Royce O'Neale: Yessssir congrats @Donovan Mitchell and …

More on All-Star Selections

Sam Amick: Aaron Goodwin, agent to San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan, expresses frustration at his client's All-Star exclusion. DeRozan - 19.8 points, 6.9 assists, & five rebounds - has the Spurs 6th in the West "I'd love to see the coaches' votes. At some point, the winning has got to matter."
Jusuf Nurkic: D-Book not on the list ...
StatMuse: Khris Middleton is snubbed. 20.5 PPG 6.0 RPG 5.7 APG (career-high) 51/43/90% He’s one of only 2 players averaging 25/5/5 on 50/40/90% this season (Paul George).
StatMuse: Domantas Sabonis is snubbed. 21.5 PPG 11.6 RPG 5.7 APG 53/36/71% He’s one of only 3 players averaging 20/10/5 on 50% shooting this season (Jokic, Giannis).
Shams Charania: Sources: 2021 NBA All-Star reserves: West: Chris Paul, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis. East: James Harden, Julius Randle, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons, Nikola Vucevic.
That means players who were not starting for their respective teams were more likely to be voted as All-Star starters by their fellow peers than by fan voters. Just in this year’s voting results, we can cite various eyebrow-raising examples of players not taking their vote seriously whatsoever. How about Los Angeles Lakers swingman Kostas Antetokounmpo playing eight minutes all year and getting 10 votes from players to be an All-Star? That’s the same number John Wall got and one more than Bojan Bogdanovic, double-digit scorer for the best team in the league this year.
Jaren Jackson Jr. hasn’t played yet this campaign either and he got five votes. Milwaukee Bucks guard Jaylen Adams has scored two points in 18 total minutes of action. He got five votes as well. That’s one more player vote apiece than Karl-Anthony Towns, who had just four votes from fellow players, got. Granted, he’s missed a lot of time this season, but the point remains the same.
“I think we should have five All-Stars,” Conley said. “I think this year, honestly, I’m playing the best basketball of my entire career. Being 33 years old, I’ve never had the opportunity to play in the game. I’ve had the door shut so many times. But, it’s been so much fun being a part of a team like this that is so unique. We play so unselfishly, and we have a defensive mindset and a physical mentality. “To do that, you have to have nine or 10 guys that all make plays for each other and are all unselfish. It’s funny because we have been so versatile this season that I have struggled to figure out how to scout us. I never had to think about that for one of my teams.”
Payne, who sees the work his pupil puts in every day, says Randle is deserving of an All-Star spot. “I don’t know if people really understand who this guy is,” Payne said. “But to reach this goal would bring full circle what working, character and intelligence is. The ability to take care of your body, put the work in every day, to mentally think about the success you’re achieving and how to impact the team.”
With Bradley Beal being named a starter, the player under consideration for a spot this most applies to is Zach LaVine. I’ll admit to not having a clue what to make of the seventh-year gunner. And neither do different types of impact metrics. Only two players have a larger gap between their EPM rating (which takes into account box score contributions when inferring credit for team success or failure) and RAPM. Coincidentally, Beal has the fourth-largest difference. Just over a quarter of the way into a season, this sort of difference might be as much statistical noise as capturing anything real. But at the same time, LaVine (as well as Beal) has consistently appeared to be a substantially negative defender, to the point where he might give back on defense most of what his dynamic shot creation and superb shotmaking bring to a team’s offense. That said, this is LaVine’s first season as a first option where his shotmaking has outstripped his shot quality:
Marc Stein: Utah is 25-6. Twenty-one wins are by double digits. I think they should get three All-Stars .... we’ll find out later today if Gobert, Mitchell and Conley all get the nod.
It wasn’t surprising that Young wasn’t named a starter in the East; what was interesting was he finished 11th in player voting and sixth in both the media and fan vote. It’s unclear why Young finished so low in the player vote; he only received 20 votes from players. “I don’t look too far into that,” Young said. “I know I’m not the 11th-best guard in the East. It’s nothing I took offense to.”
The numbers argument – always inherently flawed – will be used to shut down any discussion on the topic to show Sabonis deserves a second consecutive trip to the all-star game. Coach Nate Bjorkgren went to that immediately when asked after Monday’s practice. “His stats speak for themselves,” he said. “He deserves to be an All-Star. He’s got my 1,000% backing on it. He continues to play great team basketball, and he’ll get rewarded for that.”
Billy Donovan left little doubt on the subject. "Zach LaVine is deserving of being an All-Star," the Bulls coach said late Saturday. Donovan declared this following yet another LaVine masterpiece, a 38-point demonstration of efficiency that featured 15-for-20 shooting and led the Bulls to a 122-114 victory over the Kings at the United Center. "When you look at players that are All-Stars, you are saying they are playing at a high level individually and they are also raising the level of the team," Donovan said. "I think Zach has done that."
"It’s growing," LaVine said of his relationship with Donovan. "I’m open with him, and I told him to be open with me. We’ve had ongoing dialogue. We text. We have phone calls. We have meetings. It’s been good. He wants the best out of you and he challenges you. I like that. I think I respond well to that. I appreciate him and I support him." The feeling is mutual. "I attribute it to him," Donovan said. "Ever since I came here, everything he's wanted to do has been about winning... And I think he wants to be told what are the things that's he's got to do to take himself to a different level because he hasn't won.
Tim MacMahon: Mike Conley, who has the unofficial label as the league’s best veteran who has never been an All-Star, believes that he’s earned his spot this season. His answer when @andyblarsen asked Conley about his All-Star chances: "That would mean the world to me obviously. It would say a lot about me as a person after the year I had last year to come back and compete at the level that I've competed at. I do feel like I've played well enough to be in that conversation and to quite frankly be one of those reserves. I think this year everything has fallen into place where we [have] the best record and we've got a coach coaching the team. It's all falling in line, so if it's not going to happen this year, that would be tough."
Michael Scotto: 76ers coach Doc Rivers and his staff will coach Team Durant in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. It’s the third time he’s coached in the All-Star Game. He previously coached in 2008 and 2011 representing the Celtics. He is Philadelphia’s first All-Star coach since Larry Brown in 2001.
Rivers was asked about the honor during his pregame media availability Friday. He jokingly remained silent with a straight face for a couple of seconds. “That’s my answer,” Rivers said with a laugh after the pause. “You know, I prefer to golf over [the] All-Star break, let me put it that way,” he added. “But listen, it’s a honor because it means your team’s doing well. So that’s always good. That’s the way I look at it.”
Rivers joked that the honor he wanted was being able to pick any coach from another team for the All-Star Game. “I think that would be hilarious,” Rivers said. Who would he pick? “Probably Pop,” he said, referring to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “It would be awesome.”
Tim Bontemps: Brad Stevens says he believes Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will make the All-Star team, and that they both deserve to. He also said he’s going to have a tough time choosing his ballot with so many teams being bunched up together.
Sean Highkin: Terry Stotts: "It was obvious to players and media that Dame deserved to be a starter. Players know players. The voting is what it is. I think we all know that Dame is the best point guard in the league right now and he should have been a starter."
Being left off the 2020 All-Star team was disappointing and frustrating for Beal. But he was able to turn it into a positive. "It humbled me even more. It brought me back down to Earth. I kind of thought I was hot s--- in a way. It was like ‘okay, you’re not,’" Beal said. "It just forced me to get back in the gym and just shifted my mindset of having a ‘Mamba Mentality’ coming into this year. I just tried to make sure that each and every night I give it to my teammates. I just leave it out there for them and be a prime example for them."
Beal was justified feeling snubbed last year when the Wizards’ winning percentage was nearly identical to this season’s. “Obviously, I’d rather have more wins under my column, but I’m also kinda confused, too. I think we both know why,” he said when the fan vote first came out a couple of weeks ago. “It’s like, what was the difference between this year and last year? But to each his own. I appreciate everybody that shows their love and support. But I guess (they’re) finally tuning in.”
“It’s tough at times, but ultimately, it brings you back to why do you play the game?” Beal said earlier this week when asked what it’s like for the All-Star snubbing to become part of his personal story. “When I first picked up a basketball, it wasn’t to win a trophy. It wasn’t to win someone’s approval. It wasn’t to win someone’s vote. And so, it always brings me back. I think that’s been my approach the last couple of years. “You guys hear me say all the time, say I don’t care about being an All-Star if I make it, because at the end of the day, accolades are not what I wanna be remembered by. I wanna be remembered for the impact I leave on people.”
Fred Katz: Bradley Beal on when he first saw he was No. 1 in the fan vote: "I was completely thrown off by it. I was thrown off, shocked, whatever synonym you wanna use. It was crazy. I don’t even know if I reached a million votes last year."
Andrew Greif: Western Conference All-Star voting breakdown, per the NBA:
Kevin Love: 😬
Brad Townsend: Mavericks who have started All-Star games Luka Doncic 2020, Luka Doncic 2019, Dirk Nowitzki 2010*, Dirk Nowitzki 2007, Jason Kidd 1996. *In 2010, Nowitzki was an injury-replacement starter when the game was played at AT&T Stadium.
For Randle, wearing a No. 30 jersey at the All-Star Game on behalf of the Knicks may go a long way toward cementing his approval with fans. “It’d be amazing, man,” Randle said. “You put in a lot of work and sacrifice and dedication to your craft. So for you to receive those accolades or whatever it may be and be recognized as such would be a great feeling.” Randle paused slightly. “And especially as a Knick.”
StatMuse: Julius Randle should be an All-Star. 23.1 PPG 11.0 RPG 5.6 APG 48/41/80% There’s only one other player with 20/10/5 on 40+ 3P% in a season — Larry Bird.
He has had a remarkable year and this was the latest punctuation. When the 2019-20 season ended he went into the offseason with the All-Star Game as the goal. He is certainly deserving, even if he does not make it. All-Star nods are not selections, they are elections and those can be fickle. But Randle has made his case. “It’s hard not to put him in the game,” RJ Barrett said. “What else does he have to do? The man is an All-Star.”
Randle hit a driving runner with 3:30 left and then his seventh 3-pointer to drive the lead to 112-107 and repel the Hawks’ comeback attempt. Atlanta had trailed by 14 points in the first half but responded and grabbed a six-point lead in the third quarter. Appearing on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN radio before the game, Randle said an All-Star berth would mean “a lot, man. It’s definitely a goal I put down for me to accomplish when I got to the Knicks. It would be an amazing honor and mean a lot to me and my family. But I’m trying to keep the team first.’’
Eric Walden: Jordan Clarkson, on how many All-Stars the Jazz should get: "Rudy and Donovan are the two locks, Mike and Bojan are the sleepers." And should he get a spot? "If it happens, it happens, but I’m cool, I’m chillin’. I’m just trying to get that Sixth Man and win some games."
Michael Scotto: Kevin Durant on playing an NBA All-Star Game: “It is what it is. We have no control over it. I didn't care either way."
What would it mean if you’re selected as an All-Star, which would be your first? Tobias Harris: It would mean a lot. When I was in L.A., I thought for sure I was playing at an All-Star level. The team was playing for first in the West, and then about a month before All-Star, the team slipped down to about seventh and I missed the game. I felt I didn’t make the game because we weren’t a top team in the West. But here we are this year sitting at No. 1, I’m playing the best basketball of my career. So it would mean a whole lot, that the work I put in, the time and due diligence I put toward the game and my body and a good teammate and a player, is paying off. I’m playing at that level consistently. It would be great to be rewarded for that.
“Listen, De’Aaron is having a heck of a year and yes, I’ll be campaigning for him,” Walton said with a smile. “I’ll be campaigning for De’Aaron and if he doesn’t get selected, he gets some extra rest and gets to stay home.” Fox is averaging 23.4 points and 6.7 assists in a career-high 33.4 minutes per game for Walton’s squad. In February, he’s posting 31.6 points and 9.0 assists while playing 38.2 minutes per night. “He’s having a heck of a season right now, and it’s good that he’s in those talks,” Walton said.
But what's your sense about in the pandemic, having an all star game in Atlanta, and how you feel about it? Tobias Harris: Yeah, you know, I've heard the chatter around the league about it. And this is an extremely condensed season, we're pretty much playing every other day, night after night. So it wasn't too surprising to hear the news that there was going to be an All-Star game, just because it's kind of the way to the deck is already set up for this type of season, like in a pandemic, testing all the way down the line. So for me, it was just something when I heard about that, okay, well, here we go. It's really nothing new from what we've been doing this whole year. But I also do understand it for a guy like LeBron, who's played in many All-Star games. But for somebody like myself, who wants to be in the game and wants to play in his first All-Star game, I'm also like 'Alright, where we go?' You know, okay, where are we at? So, that's how I look at it.
Before taking any questions from reporters, Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony delivered a message unprompted to fans after just witnessing teammate Nikola Vucevic achieve a career night. The message, according to Anthony, is simple: Vote for Vucevic. “That man deserves to be an All-Star,” Anthony said. “He is the best big in the league. Come on! What are we doing? Come on!” Vucevic on Friday produced a career-high 43 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 123-119 win over the Chicago Bulls. He became just the third player in team history to record 43 points and 19 rebounds in a game, joining Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard.
All-Star or not, having the support of his teammates means everything. “It means a lot,” Vucevic said. “Two years ago, when I was playing well [and was named an All-Star], they were all doing the same thing. It’s always great to see that. … When you have the support of your teammates, that’s the most important thing. They see you every day. They see the work you put in, they see how dedicated you are. When you earn their respect, that’s very important.”
Steve Popper: Elfrid on Randle as an all-star: "Honestly, it’s not even a question. I don’t even know what we’re talking about. He’s definitely been playing at an all-star level. We’ve been winning. I don’t think it’s really a debate."
“He should absolutely be in that [All-Star] category,” said Hornets Head Coach Borrego. “He’s been everything we could have imagined and more. Career highs across the board – scoring, shooting, fourth-quarter efficiency. And then what he’s done for our young guys, he’s raised their level and our level with his competitive spirit.” “For me, I’ve just been trying to focus on us as much as I can,” stated Hayward. “All the individual stuff usually takes care of itself. I have to continue to get better as a player to help us win games. That’s the important thing for us. It certainly would be nice to get that nod again, but I’m just trying to focus on our team.”
Michael Singer: Asked Nikola Jokic if he wanted an ASG or a break: "I was All-Star last 2 years .. I'm in shape. The rest, break, of course, 'Where to sign right now?' But being an AS, it's an honor, you represent a lot of people, back home, Serbia, Sombor, my family. It's honor to be there."
Brad Rowland: Collins says he believes he'll be in All-Star contention next season. He also says he believes that he and Trae Young are the best young duo in the NBA.
Brad Rowland: Collins says he believes he'll be in All-Star contention next season. He also says he believes that he and Trae Young are the best young duo in the NBA.
Jason Richardson: Yeah, I think I was a little bit underrated. I feel like I should have made the All-Star team a few times. But the game has changed now; it’s different. Because in my era, even if you averaged 20 points, if you didn’t win, it didn’t matter. I understood that part of it. I had a lot of losing years during those times, so people thought it was just “number chasing.” But if you look at it now, there’s a lot of guys who are averaging a ton of points and their team isn’t doing good, but they still get the accolades and they are on the All-Star teams and stuff like that. I think back in my time, it was more team-oriented and all about, “What are you doing to help your team win games?” And so I see the different eras and I understand how the game has changed in that respect.
“If they had kept the voting the way it was years ago when it was like majority fan votes, I definitely would have rejected it,” Fall says. “There is no way I’m going to take the spot of like a Devin Booker, a Bradley Beal, those people that most people feel like should have been an All-Star. And then you have some rookie who barely plays five minutes a game just take a spot. I didn’t want that to happen.”
Despite putting up potent and efficient offensive numbers, Booker was not originally voted in as an All-Star reserve by the NBA’s coaches. But Damian Lillard injured his groin last Wednesday night, hours before Booker was scheduled to go “off the grid” on vacation. He received a wake-up call from commissioner Adam Silver early Thursday that he was the injury-replacement choice and, after briefly going back to sleep, celebrated with his family in his Phoenix home. The family affair continued throughout a weekend during which Booker, by design, did not partake in many public appearances beyond the league-mandated requirements for every All-Star participant.
Parents Veronica and Melvin and younger sister Mya flew with Devin to Chicago on a private jet. They shared low-key dinners together. Melvin wore a replica All-Star jersey in the hotel room Sunday, marveling that “it’s crazy to see that ‘Booker’ on the back.” When Devin spotted Veronica and Mya in the United Center stands just after halftime Sunday night, Mya expressed her adoration by drawing hearts with fingers. “We all have been together,” Melvin told The Athletic while standing in the tunnel between sections 112 and 113 as Devin went through pregame warmups. “We’ve just been taking it all in as a family, because this is what we worked so hard for. …
Bleacher Report: Chuck on All-Star snubs: “When you’re 5-75, you don’t have the right to be snubbed. All the guys who said they were snubbed were on the worst teams.” (via @BenGolliver). Bradley Beal: But you made it and didn’t make the play...nvm 🤦🏽‍♂️ lol
Nicolo Melli already had his flight booked to the Bahamas when he found out he needed to tweak those plans. As the Pelicans wrapped up their final shootaround before the All-Star break Thursday, executive vice president David Griffin informed the Italian forward he’d been chosen as an injury replacement in the Rising Stars Game. At first, Melli thought he was kidding. “I thought he was messing with me,” Melli said. “We always make fun of each other for different reasons. Everybody knew I was excited to go on vacation. I was waiting for this day. I thought he was joking.”
Nicolo Melli already had his flight booked to the Bahamas when he found out he needed to tweak those plans. As the Pelicans wrapped up their final shootaround before the All-Star break Thursday, executive vice president David Griffin informed the Italian forward he’d been chosen as an injury replacement in the Rising Stars Game. At first, Melli thought he was kidding. “I thought he was messing with me,” Melli said. “We always make fun of each other for different reasons. Everybody knew I was excited to go on vacation. I was waiting for this day. I thought he was joking.”
Storyline: All-Star Selections
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