The players who will be named to the 2018 NBA All-Star Game as reserves were supposed to be announced on Tuesday but someone apparently didn’t get the memo. The list of All-Star reserves from the Western and Eastern Conferences were leaked early and basketball fans are already giving their two cents about the selections.
The All-Star reserves from the Western Conference are point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 1-2 punch of center Karl-Anthony Towns and swingman Jimmy Butler, San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rounding out the All-Star reserves from the West are enigmatic forward Draymond Green and shooter Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. With the addition of these two, the Warriors now have four players representing the reigning NBA Champion in the 2018 All-Star Game.
Green and Thompson join Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant who were previously chosen as All-Star starters. This marked the first time in NBA history that one team had four All-Star players in back-to-back seasons, according to Bleacher Report.
The other three starters from the West are Houston Rockets guard James Harden, and big men DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Curry received the most votes from fans, making him the captain of his All-Star team. Towns is the only first-time All-Star from the West.
Voted by NBA head coaches to the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves are forward Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, point guard Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics big man Al Horford, Washington Wizards backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal, and guard Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers. Porzingis, Beal, and Oladipo will be appearing in their first All-Star Game.
The starters from the East are captain LeBron James from Cleveland, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, center and first-time All-Star Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, and guards Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics and the Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan.
After the list of NBA All-Star reserves was leaked, a number of basketball personalities reacted through social media. A number of them questioned the exclusion of some NBA stars from the lists. The most prominent snub appears to be Paul George of the Thunder.
Paul George is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year averaging 20.8/5.5/3.0 on 44/43/81 shooting splits, on the West’s fifth-seed. I just don’t see how that’s not an All-Star.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) January 23, 2018
Other prominent NBA players who were snubbed in this year’s edition of the All-Star Game were Chris Paul of the Rockets, the Thunder’s Carmelo Anthony, and super sub Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers.
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) January 24, 2018
In the East, center Andre Drummond, rookie sensation Ben Simmons of the Sixers, Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, and trade candidate Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets failed to get the votes. Drummond made his feelings about the All-Star snub known via Twitter.
Guess I gotta start doing back flips after every point I score to get attention around here!
Lmao on to the next
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) January 24, 2018
So no Dragic. No Heat. And no one from the current No. 4 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Has been 25 years since an East team at No. 4 or higher at All-Star break has not had an All-Star. Paging Commissioner Silver? (He names injury replacements.) https://t.co/2vh9Hp38z9
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 23, 2018
As captains, LeBron and Curry will get to choose from all the starters and reserves under the new All-Star Game format. The two NBA superstars will reveal their All-Star teams on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.