The veteran point guard, who is still seeking his first All-Star nomination, could be named a replacement due to injury.
When Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder heads to Atlanta for this year’s NBA All-Star Game, he will be joined by some familiar faces.
And one that is not. At least not yet.
Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were selected by Western Conference coaches as All-Star reserves.
Veteran guard Mike Conley, however, was not among the seven Western reserves named Tuesday, despite a recovery season that has seen him post highly efficient numbers to help the Jazz achieve the NBA’s best record, 25- 6.
The reserves named Tuesday also include Chris Paul of the Suns, Paul George of the Clippers, Damian Lillard of the Blazers, Anthony Davis of the Lakers and Zion Williamson of the Western Conference Pelicans. The West’s starters, announced last week, include LeBron James of the Lakers, Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers, Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets, Steph Curry of the Warriors and Luka Doncic of the Mavericks.
The Eastern reserves are James Harden of the Nets, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown of the Celtics, Ben Simmons of the Sixers, Julius Randle of the Knicks, Zach LaVine of the Bulls and Nikola Vucevic of the Magic. The East starters are Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Nets, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, Joel Embiid of the Sixers and Bradley Beal of the Wizards.
While both Mitchell and Gobert said they would be honored to be selected, they were also striving for the inclusion of their teammate.
“I pray Mike comes in. For a guy like him who has done so much for his career, on and off the court, he deserves it,” Mitchell said after Monday’s win over Charlotte. “I think he will make it, I’m betting on it. But he is a guy who puts the work in over and over again, he has invested time and effort. And I think that’s going to pay off and pay dividends. “
It is not necessarily hopeless. If an All-Star is unable to play on March 7 due to injury, such as the Lakers’ Davis (who is expected to miss four weeks after suffering a calf strain and exacerbating a case of knee tendinosis). Achilles on the right leg). then Commissioner Adam Silver has the sole discretion to appoint a replacement.
Gobert is averaging 13.9 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, and is shooting 64.0% from the field. He also leads the NBA in over / under. Mitchell is averaging career-highs in points (24.5), assists (5.2), rebounds (4.4) and 3-point shooting (38.9%).
Both said Monday night that, if selected, they will see it as a reflection of the Jazz’s collective success this season.
“It would be a blessing. But it’s really a reward for what we’ve been doing as a team, “said Gobert. “When I look at All-Stars, and Defensive Player the Year, everything individual is not possible without the team and what we do as a group. I don’t know how many we will have, but regardless of who is selected, I think it is gratifying for the work we do as a team and as an organization ”.
Conley, however, was not rewarded despite averaging 16.4 points and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 41.2% from 3-point range. He is also second to Gobert in the NBA in over / under.
However, in Conley fashion, rather than complaining about being snubbed, his immediate reaction was to tweet congratulations: “Yes sir !! Congratulations to @spidadmitchell @ rudygobert27! Hopefully many more will come !! “
This year there is no “Star Weekend”. Instead, there is a compressed one-day schedule due to COVID-19 protocols. A 3-point shootout is expected to precede the game, while a dunk contest will occur at halftime.
James and Durant will select their respective teams, first from the other eight starters, regardless of conference affiliation, and then from the reserves, on March 4. Therefore, Snyder could be training one or both players, or training against them. .
Then, each winning quarter the team will win $ 100,000 to be donated to the charity chosen by the winner, as selected by the captains. The fourth quarter will be a timeless ending “Elam Ending”. The first team to reach the score set by the winning team in three quarters plus 24, the number at the end of Kobe Bryant’s career, will be the winner.