Barry Jackson: Spoelstra on Butler and Bam being bypass…

More on All-Star Selections

Eric Walden: Donovan Mitchell, on Mike Conley's exclusion from the ASG: "It's unfortunate that we don't play on national TV enough for people to see his impact. … I thought he would get in. Hopefully he still will as Anthony Davis' replacement. … He's definitely earned a spot."
Gina Mizell: Chris Paul when asked about how Devin Booker is feeling abt All-Star snub: "Book is gonna be fine. Mont said it this morning, and it's true for me too, I came here because of Book. You know what I mean? Don't make any mistake about that. I came to Phoenix because of Book." #Suns
Will Guillory: Zion on the significance of reaching the All-Star game so early in his career: "That goes back to thanking my coaches and my teammates. Those guys really trust me and they really put me in a position to showcase who I am. ... I just want to thank them for allowing me to be me."
Vucevic, now 30 years old, says he gained added confidence when Clifford became the Magic’s head coach. Right out of the gate, Clifford would tell him how talented he is and what he’s capable of accomplishing if he has the right mindset and approach. “He’s been huge in the steps I’ve been able to take in the last two-and-a-half seasons he’s been here,’ Vucevic said of Clifford’s role in his maturation. “Mainly the thing that he’s been able to help me with is my approach to the game, my mentality, my confidence. It’s something that as soon as he came here, the first time we met, the things he told me was ‘you’re one of the best big men in the NBA, you can be a multiple-time All-Star, there’s so much room for you to grow.’”
Assessing total career value is one way to answer the question of the best non-All-Star, but it’s not the only method. A “compiler” with a bunch of decent but unspectacular seasons can put together an impressive career without ever making a strong All-Star case in any one season. So we can also look at the list of non-All-Stars with the best peaks, defined for these purposes as their best five seasons. Using this peak method, Conley moves into third place on the list—and will probably jump up to second by the time this season finishes, as he’s on pace for one of the best campaigns of his career.
“To me, Khris is an All-Star. All-Star player. Not to disrespect any of the other players that made the team, they’re all having great, great seasons, but Khris is an All-Star. Bottom line, he’s an All-Star.” Unsurprisingly, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer felt the same way. “We feel like Khris is an All-Star,” Budenholzer said postgame. “We feel like he deserves it. The numbers and everything, his efficiency and what he does in a game on both ends of the court is very special.
Eventually, Zach LaVine, the star of the Chicago Bulls, was selected for the All-Star Game. The 25-year-old was asked what message he would tell his 19-year-old self. His response focused on the hard and its fruits. “Hard work doesn’t fail. It really doesn’t,” LaVine said. “Just keep your head down and keep grinding, regardless of the result or recognition or the outside perception. That’s not what you do it for. You do it for your family and you do it for yourself and that’s what I still do. I could care less what the perception and what people say about me. I hear it all but at the end of the day, I love basketball. I’d do this if I got paid zero dollars. I put in so much work for me and my family. I would do this till I die.”
Falling below .500 is as bad as it gets. Nobody is taking shots in the press yet or arguing on the floor. As bad as Tatum, Brown or Walker may be shooting on a given night, none of them have cut the brakes. “I don’t feel very much like an All-Star because we’re below .500 and I’ve got to do a better job of inspiring my teammates and getting guys going and learning and growing,” Brown said. “It’s not all about just scoring the ball. I’ve realized that. It’s about getting teammates involved and things like that. I’m learning and I’m growing in that process.”
“He’s playing with tremendous confidence,” Derrick Rose said. “His confidence is very high. Great leader for the team. Me just watching everything up close. He added the trey ball to his game, so he’s even more effective. He’s just balling right now. With the first group and whenever he’s in the second group, we’re trying to play through him and find him because he’s demanding the double team and that’s what we need from him. He makes the game a lot easier.”
While Booker was left out, Paul made it for the 11th time in his 16-year NBA career as he's averaging 16.6 points and 8.5 assists in his first season in Phoenix. "Probably the most bittersweet of them all cause Book is an all-star," said Chris Paul on TNT's Inside The NBA postgame show Tuesday night. "It's not taking away from any of the guys that were named all-stars, but our team, the Phoenix Suns, we go as Booker goes and we know that and he knows that."
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams was certain Devin Booker deserved to be an NBA All-Star again this year. "There's no doubt about it. No one can debate that Book's not an all-star," Williams said after Monday's game. "End of story. The impact on winning, the numbers and we have a few wins. So from my perspective, I don't think you'll find any coach in the league that would debate that he isn't an all-star. End of story."
“You saw a lot of guys make it for the first time, you saw a lot of guys that I’ve seen there over the years. It was disappointing not to see Devin Booker on there,.” said Lillard, had to sit out last year’s game due to injury and was replaced by Suns guard. “They’ve had a great season, obviously they blew us out last night, but they’ve been an up and down team over the years and this year they’ve taken off with Chris Paul. Obviously Chris Paul is who he is but I definitely think Devin Booker should have had a spot on that roster. To me, that’s out of control. Come on, that’s crazy.”
Eric Koreen: “I’m very disappointed,” Nurse says of VanVleet not making the All-Star Game. He takes nothing away from guys who made it, recognizes how deep talent is. “He’s played his guts out,” and has been a big reason for Raptors’ turn-around.
Keith Pompey: Torrel Harris on his client Tobias being an all-star snub: “An ALL-STAR is for players who are consistent and play each game at the highest level, with not taking off games. Tobias has helped lead his team to be in 1st place. It's very disappointing that Tobias was not selected.”
Tim MacMahon: The All-Star case for Rockets big man Christian Wood, as stated by agent @PensackSports :
Harrison Wind: Jamal Murray on not making the All-Star team: "Championship is the goal. Obviously, you find some milestones and you miss out on some. There’s a lot more to achieve this season than just being an All-Star."
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs @CollinSexton02 on not making @NBAAllStar: "It just showed me like, ‘All right, we’ve still got work to do, we’re not there yet.’ I can’t sulk, I can’t be upset about it. Things happen and things happen for a reason. That’s why it’s here in Cleveland next year.”
Mike Conley: Yessir!! Congrats to @spidadmitchell @rudygobert27 ! Hopefully many more to come!!
All that remains for Vucevic’s season — of course, in addition to leading the 11-18 team back into the playoff picture — is to return to the All-Star Game. It would be a vindication of sorts. It would prove, perhaps once and for all, that he is one of the sport’s best centers. “When you make it twice,” Vucevic said, “nobody can take that away from you. I think it would really put me at a much higher level.”
“When you compare his play from last year or two years ago, that’s just the key,” said Vucevic’s best friend on the Magic, swingman Evan Fournier. “He’s always been dominant down low when he catches the ball in the paint. His hook shots and his fadeaways and stuff, he’s always been very good at that. But this year, it’s just the quick 3 on top of the key. It’s a game-changer.”
"I love you so much and I'm so proud of the son and teammate that you are." Julius Randle's mom congratulated him on being a first time #NBAAllStar
Durant and Irving had been selected as starters, and Harden will head to Atlanta as a reserve, having just been edged out by Irving in the voting among Eastern Conference guards. But considering Harden’s stellar play since joining the Nets, he’s closer to being an MVP contender than he was to being an All-Star snub. “James, I mean, clearly an All-Star, all-world player has brought so much to our team: leadership, playmaking and scoring the ball,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said before Tuesday night’s official announcement on TNT. “He’s been outstanding. We’re grateful to have him.”
Michael Scotto: Chris Paul is the third player to be an All-Star on four different teams, joining Moses Malone and Shaquille O’Neal. CP3 leads the NBA in free throw percentage (.972), ranks sixth in assists per game (8.5) and 14th in win shares (3.7). Big reason why Suns are fourth in the West.
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."
Storyline: All-Star Selections
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