NBA rumors: Luka Doncic beats out Damian Lillard for final starting spot on West All-Star team

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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. …

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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.”
Duane Rankin: "I don't my hopes up. I'm going to go home with my family, sit down. Plans to take off tomorrow morning to my desination, my off-the-grid desination. So we'll see." Devin Booker on #NBAAllStar chances as Damian Lillard is out with injury (w/video) #Suns bit.ly/37nxkb5 pic.twitter.com/ZTCQXXiyS9
Duane Rankin: Quick takes from #Suns lockerroom. Monty Williams gave Damian Lillard mad props for saying Devin Booker should be considered to replace him as an all-star. Devin Booker said "we'll cross that bridge" several times when asked about if he gets the call to replace Lillard.

http://twitter.com/hoopshype/status/1227871721371439104
With LaVine declining to enter the slam-dunk contest, the Bulls’ only representation all weekend will be LaVine’s participation in the three-point contest Saturday. That’s it. Multiple sources have told the Sun-Times the Bulls are not thrilled with how this has played out, and LaVine hasn’t hidden his frustration, either. “Yeah, it’s upsetting, but you know . . . we see the way it’s got to be,” LaVine said. “We’ve got to be in the [playoff] hunt [to be considered for All-Star invitations]. We’re in the hunt a little bit, but we’re not solidified. We had some ups and downs, had some injuries. But like I told you guys in the beginning, [if] we win, we all succeed. So we’ll get there, I’ll get there, and I don’t have a doubt in my mind about that.”
Duane Rankin: "I'm not speaking on that situation anymore." #Suns star guard Devin Booker done talking about #NBAAllStar selection process.

http://twitter.com/DuaneRankin/status/1224704882101444615
Considering that Beal is such a prolific scorer and the All-Star Game often rewards the players best at getting the ball in the bucket, it was a surprise to see that the former No. 3 overall pick was not included in the exhibition. But when putting his 2019-20 season in context, it raises even more eyebrows for the decision. Beal, averaging a career-best 28.8 points per game, is scoring more than any other All-Star snub in NBA history.
Only three other qualified players who have averaged at least 28.0 points per game (World B. Free, Tiny Archibald and Purvis Short) were not selected to the All-Star Game. Similarly, the last time a player averaged at least 27.0 points per game in a season and did not make the All-Star Game was in 1984-85.
When the NBA announced its All-Star starters and reserves over the last week, center Karl-Anthony Towns wasn’t on the list. Towns had earned that distinction twice over the last two seasons and broke down last season when he found out he had made the team. Towns spoke for the first time about not making the team after Saturday’s 118-106 loss to the Clippers.
When asked is he was going to use this as motivation, as a chip on his shoulder, Towns said he didn’t need it and got in a shot at this year’s game. “I’ve had a chip since I came in,” Towns said. “I’m on a journey that goes beyond All-Stars. I’m trying to be the best of the best. I have to go out there and continue to be better and continue to find ways to win for my team and try to build a legacy. “It’s unfortunate that this year’s All-Star Game won’t have the 24 best players in the NBA, but we got to go out there every night and just find ways to win, because it’s not about the All-Star game, it’s about being in the NBA finals, being in the playoffs, about winning games. That’s how you build a legacy. All-Star is cool and stuff for the fans, but I’m here for the people in this locker room.”
Tom Orsborn: DeMar said he's not "bitter" about the All-Star snub but added, "(there's) a lot of guys that sacrifice and do a lot for their team night in, night out and some may not be in the best position win-wise. But don't take away from their skill set and what they bring to the game."
Gina Mizell: More Williams: “It’s a shame. When you look at the system, the way these guys are picked, he’s probably a casualty of that. It’s pretty clear that the Western Conference coaches didn’t value what he brought to the table, and that’s disappointing.” #Suns

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Paul George: “Fact of the matter is I didn’t deserve to be an All-Star, I didn’t play enough games and I wasn’t out there enough. Honestly, it’s nice to have three extra days, I’ll take it with a smile on my face, root Kawhi on from wherever beach we decide to go.”
Eric Woodyard: Giannis says he’s disappointed that more Bucks didn’t make the All-Star team. “I want to be honest,” he said. “I feel like at times that we don’t get as much respect and it’s OK, we haven’t earned anything, at the end of the day, I think (Eric Bledsoe) should’ve made the team.”
Jim Eichenhofer: Brandon Ingram on the meaning of his first All-Star selection and his future: "It’s very significant. Of course with the standards of mine and the people around me, there are bigger and bigger things than this, but I’m enjoying this moment right now and very thankful for this.”
Scott Kushner: Brandon Ingram said it is “very significant” for him to be named an All Star and recognizes its meaning. He credited his teammates several times and pointed out Jrue Holiday’s unselfishness and Lonzo Ball’s friendship in particular.
Kevin Chouinard: Rising Stars Teams announced: pic.twitter.com/shFaeTGG3x

http://twitter.com/KLChouinard/status/1223290524783849472
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal is clearly miffed by coming up short of an All-Star selection, clearly voicing that anger after the game. He was joined by his fiancée, who complained during the postgame show after the Wizards beat the Charlotte Hornets 121-107, and so did his agent, who was as outraged as Beal. “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley shot the latter down, saying his agent has no ground to complain or feel upset: “You mean the agent who let hit him take the most money so he can get the biggest cut? He’s not in a position to complain,” said Barkley. “The Wizards are 16-31. Bradley Beal is a good player, but they basically have the same record as the Knicks and the Cavs.” “His agent is in no position to complain. He took the maximum extension, he knew they were gonna stink, so [the agent] took the most money he could get also.”
One more gem from Jokic. He said what he liked most about All-Star weekend was getting to know the other stars personally, including Russell Westbrook. “Like, me and Russ, we were always on the court like a little bit chippy, whatever,” Jokic said. “And All-Star, we were talking like, he was good to me. He was not bad to me.”
SportsCenter: "A little pissed off about it ... It's disrespectful. ... I'm gonna try and get my team in the playoffs for sure." Strong words from Bradley Beal postgame when he was asked about missing the All-Star game.
Fred Katz: Isaiah Thomas on Bradley Beal not making All-Star: "It’s so political. NBA picks who they want, and that’s just how it’s always gonna be…They always talk about on winning teams, but then you pick and choose who you want on a losing team. It’s like, pick a side."
Candace Buckner: Bradley Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein rips Eastern Conference coaches for the all-star snub. Bartelstein: “I think they’ve sent a horrible message.” Mark Bartelstein, Bradley Beal's agent, on Beal being left off the all-star team: "It's unprecedented for a player to have the type of season that Brad is having to not be in the all-star game. And I think the Eastern Conference coaches, I think they've sent a horrible message. I think the Eastern Conference coaches have become robotic in thinking they just have to reward players that are on the winningest teams. The idea of the all-star game is to reward the very best players and Brad made a decision this summer to be loyal to a franchise, to be patient with a franchise and to go through the rebuilding. He could've made the choice to be a bandwagon jumper and just go on and join a higher-level team and he would've been guaranteed in the all-star game. But he didn't want to do that. He wanted to be loyal to his organization and the coaches in the NBA are holding it against Brad that he was loyal to his organization.
Mark Bartelstein: "There's a reason why the players voted him No. 2. The players know and these coaches — if they're being honest, there's nobody in the Eastern Conference, other than Giannis, that they game plan for harder than they game plan for Brad. That's the reality of it. They game plan so hard to try to take him away. The Wizards are in a rebuilding situation and this wasn't going to be a year where they were going to be a playoff team, and everyone knew it. Yet, he has gone and played his heart out every single night to try to make them as competitive as they can be and coaches have held it against him that he decided to stay the course with the team instead of jumping ship and joining someone's bandwagon and I think that's a terrible message."
Fred Katz: Kamiah Adams, Bradley Beal’s finacee, went on the Wizards postgame show with Glenn Consor to talk Beal not making All-Star. "It’s politics and it’s a joke,” she said. "The NBA is becoming laughable in my honest opinion."
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