After knocking down a turnaround jumper over swingman Reggie Bullock with 1:49 left in regulation that gave the Sixers a four-point lead, Harris decided to remind everybody how he’s feeling about that perceived snub. “I’m an All-Star!” he was caught saying by the NBC Sports Philadelphia cameras. “That’s for sure what I said,” Harris said postgame. “For me, that’s just reaffirming that to myself. I know the fans know that, but reaffirming that to them and to myself, especially making those big plays. I try to just find motivation in different areas. That’s one of them.”
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“He was pissed off,” Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons said, referencing Harris and his omission from the All-Star team. “He should have been an All-Star. You got a few guys — myself and Joel on this team, and then Tobias, I think people just take for granted how talented he is. If he was on the team I don’t want to take anything away from any other All-Stars but if he was on a different team, he’s going to be putting up those numbers. It’s clear he’s able to do that. But obviously it went the way it went, but he is, no matter what. To us, he’s an All-Star, he’s one of those guys who can get it done, go get a bucket. He’s a big time player.”
Kyle Neubeck: Harris asked about the All Star snub for first time after the break. Mentions Philly fans giving him approval this year is probably best sign he should have been one this year. “These are the same fans that would have escorted me out of my house last year.”
“You might want to call back, the league’s trying to reach you,” Conley said was the text message he received. “So I hop up real quick and say I’ll be right back, and go back in the bathroom and call the number back. He’s like ‘Hey, Mike, I’ve got some good news, there’s a spot available in the 3-point contest and the All-Star Game. … If you’re available?’ I’m like shit, I am doing nothing, sitting here with my family.”
Jorge Sierra: Only four players made their All-Star debut at an older age than Mike Conley this season: Kyle Korver Anthony Mason Sam Cassell Nat Clifton pic.twitter.com/0uBMAabYp0
Mark Medina: NBA announced that Utah’s Mike Conley is an All-Star injury replacement for Phoenix’s Devin Booker (sprained left knee). Conley will also participate in the 3-point contest.
Joe Ingles: This is some of the best news I’ve ever heard. @Mike Conley is an all star.. he earned this. Always been underrated. Shouldn’t be the first but go enjoy this with your family ❤️
Jamal Crawford: Man, so genuinely happy for Mike Conley. Always been one of the most underrated players to never make all star.. We can change that title now 👊🏾🙌🏾
Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley has been invited to the All-Star Game pending a physical, league sources tell The Athletic’s Tony Jones.
Donovan Mitchell: I SEE YOU @Mike Conley 👀👀👀🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/xtoLdE2GD7
What about Heat wing Jimmy Butler, Bucks wing Khris Middleton, Heat big Bam Adebayo, Hawks guard Trae Young or Bucks guard Jrue Holiday? Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports Network: “For those who were sort of questioning why Jimmy wasn’t named to the All-Star team when Durant went out and it was Sabonis, I can tell you that the NBA wanted to name him to the All-Star team.” “You know basically what he made known to the NBA?” “He wasn’t going unless Bam was going.”
Bobby Marks: The All-Star language is negotiable in the contract: starter, reserve or replacement player. Sabonis has all three Rudy Gobert would not receive his $1M bonus if he was selected as a replacement player.
Scott Agness: Official: Domantas Sabonis is an @NBAAllStar for the second straight season, named the replacement player for Kevin Durant. It triggers an incentive worth $1.3 million.
JD Shaw: Kevin Durant will be replaced in the starter pool for the All-Star Draft by Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who was selected as an All-Star reserve, league says.
Marc Stein: Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis will replace Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant as an East All-Star, sources say, but a decision has not yet been made on how to handle the East captaincy now that Durant is not playing.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Pacers star Domantas Sabonis is expected to replace Kevin Durant on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, source tells ESPN.
Tim MacMahon: Mike Conley on not being an All-Star: “Man, it was tough. I really, really thought this was the year. I joked with the guys on the team that I blame them. We should have started the year 31-0. Maybe that would have given me a chance, but I don’t know what else to do.”
Eric Walden: Mike Conley: “They obviously know it was a tough day for me, as well as something to celebrate for them. … Tonight, I honestly was just playing the way I’ve been playing, but with a little more motivation. It’s disappointing, but that’s how my career has been.”
Michael Scotto: Marc Gasol on Mike Conley’s All-Star snub: “It’s always tough. I’ve been with him when he deserved to be an All-Star in Memphis many years. He’s always been deserving but not making it. I think this year it’s a little bit tougher because they have the best record in the league.” pic.twitter.com/G7n2HBG9H9
Tom Orsborn: More from Murray on DeRozan: “All-Star Game is nice and all, but you got no control over that. I am pretty sure he is upset at the moment. I talked to him. But he’s motivated. He is ready to get back with us and go prove everybody wrong.”
RJ Marquez: Dejounte Murray on DeMar DeRozan #NBAAllStar snub and being more assertive: ‘This league is all about politics. We feel for him, but it’s not the end of the world. The goal is get to the playoffs. He’s motivated and ready to get back with us and prove everybody wrong.’ #Spurs
Jim Eichenhofer: Brandon Ingram, after being asked how he views not being All-Star: “I took it as motivation. Of course, I’ve got to be self-aware, and say that if it was questioned, maybe I’m not doing enough. Maybe I need to get more wins. I’ll be good enough to not have it questioned anymore.”
“I was happy for some of the first time All-Stars in Zach LaVine, Julius Randle,” Shaw said. “He was a player that I coached in L.A. He has gotten better and better every year. I thought that maybe Damian Lillard should have gotten a starting nod. (I’m also happy for) Jaylen Brown, a guy that played at Cal, who I’m familiar with in the Bay area. For him to get an All-Star nod, I thought that maybe he should have gotten one last year.”
Dane Moore: Billy Donovan talking now about Zach LaVine’s All-Star selection: “As great of a player as he is and as well as he’s played, he’s an even better person… And he’s the same person every day.”
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.
This list includes a few new names, like Finals MVP Maxwell, while some big men compilers fall off. Other notable recent players who come close to the top 10 include Nene (11th by peak value), Brent Barry (12th), Richard Jefferson (15th), Mike Bibby (18th), and Hedo Turkoglu (19th).
“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.”
DeMar DeRozan: Can’t help but think how fake it is...
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.”
Reggie Miller: Don’t get mad Devin Booker, get EVEN!! Make a hit list, put all the West Coaches and their teams on it! And if I’m @Chris Paul, take on the role of Drew “Bundini” Brown, be in his ear before every game saying “I bet he didn’t vote for you either”. Fireworks are coming, I’m popcorn ready
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine: “It means a lot.”
Michael Singer: Asked Malone whether Murray not making the All-Star Game can fuel him. “Obviously, we’re 16-14, but that’s where you if you want to be an All-Star, it’s gotta be something where you bring it every night. I think Jamal is learning that and he’s getting better in that regard.”
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. pic.twitter.com/gVSf9KAhge
Jamal Crawford: No D Book is crazy!!
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.”
Royce O’Neale: Yessssir congrats @Donovan Mitchell and @Rudy Gobert two time all stars 🤙🏾💫🙏🏾 Many more to come 💯
LeBron James: Followed by Dame Dolla.
Keith Pompey: Agent Torrel Harris on his client Tobias Harris being an #NBAAllStar snub: “An NBA All-Star is for players who are consistent & play each game at a high level, with no taking off games. It’s very disappointing that Tobias Harris was not selected on his team that’s in 1st place.”
Jared Dudley: How the Hell is @Devin Booker not an ALL STAR?!!!! Come on bruh!!!!! Stop with the politics!!! We all see it!!!!
Jusuf Nurkic: D-Book not on the list … pic.twitter.com/y888Of1Qs9
Jamal Crawford: Yessir @Zach LaVine !!! 🤛🏾
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). pic.twitter.com/D2hwKADZdc
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). pic.twitter.com/wYOJYtxme4
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.
Shams Charania: Zach LaVine in Bulls’ last game before coaches All-Star voting is due on Monday: 38 points, three assists, 15-of-20 shooting, a win. He’s averaged 33.1, 5.7 rebounds, 5 assists in last 10 games. Game has slowed down for the 25-year-old LaVine.
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September 23, 2021 | 4:49 am EDT Update
The Sixers would be best served if Simmons and Paul rethink their plans, though Simmons “is clearly aware of sanctions available to the organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary,” according to Wojnarowski. An NBA source said Wednesday that Simmons initially asked for a trade at the draft combine in Chicago “right after” the end of the 2020-21 season. The Game 7 home loss to the Hawks occurred on June 20, with the combine running from June 21-27.
Simmons has apparently already received $8.25 million of his 2021-22 salary, with another $8.25 million due if he’s on the roster Oct. 1. The Sixers aren’t saying what they plan to do or if they must make that payment when, barring a dramatic shift, Simmons follows through with his holdout, according to the source.
Rather than increasing Simmons’ value in a trade, the Sixers’ preference is for Simmons to report and play this season in Philadelphia, according to an NBA source. Rivers said the same thing Wednesday: “We would love to have Ben back.”
Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson: 76ers retiring Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion No. 33 like Heat retired MJ’s No. 23 ‘interesting idea’ @ScottONeil tells @BallySports: “That’s something that @dmorey & @DocRivers & Elton will weigh on for sure. That’s something that Chris Heck the President of 76ers will weigh on.”
September 23, 2021 | 2:02 am EDT Update
The Warriors recently connected Wiggins with an Oakland doctor who understands issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy, sources said. The doctor explained the suffering and deaths she has witnessed in patients who contracted the coronavirus, sources said, but Wiggins remains unmoved in his decision against vaccination.