Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was not happy with the All-Star reserve selections that were announced on Tuesday, feeling Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was a major snub.
When Booker was not named among the reserves and James — an All-Star captain again this season — lashed out on Twitter with a strong response.
“Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!” James wrote. “Simple as that.”
Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 24, 2021
Booker is averaging 24.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the surprising 20-10 Suns. What likely didn’t help Booker’s cause is that his teammate Chris Paul — who many would argue is the most important player in Phoenix — was named an All-Star and it was hard to fit two Suns players onto the roster. And despite how good Booker has been, it’s also tough to see him making it over Jazz star Donovan Mitchell or Portland’s Damian Lillard.
Notable All-Star reserve snubs: Atlanta’s Trae Young, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris, San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan. The West squad will receive a replacement player should Anthony Davis miss the All-Star Game. https://t.co/W76iIoCOQb
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2021
That being said, there’s a good chance Booker will get a second chance at the All-Star honor, with Lakers star Anthony Davis — who was named a reserve — likely needing an injury replacement for the exhibition game, which is scheduled for March 7.
Below is the full list of All-Star reserves:
- James Harden
- Jaylen Brown
- Jayson Tatum
- Julius Randle
- Nikola Vucevic
- Ben Simmons
- Zach LaVine
- Damian Lillard
- Chris Paul
- Anthony Davis
- Rudy Gobert
- Zion Williamson
- Donovan Mitchell
- Paul George
Anthony Davis All-Star Worthiness Debated
Even before the injury, Davis was having a down year, but only by his lofty standards, averaging 22.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per game. And his impact on the game for the Lakers has been undeniable of late, with the defending champion’s dropping three consecutive games without his services.
One of the most vocal critics of Davis has been former NBAer turned TNT analyst Charles Barkley. The one-time MVP said he had Jazz sixth-man Jordan Clarkson ahead of Davis on his ballot.
“He’s been the best bench player in the NBA this year,” Barkley said of Clarkson. “They (the Jazz) got the best record in the NBA. Most people don’t notice that he has been fantastic this year. That’s why I got him on my list. … Davis has not played like an All-Star. This ain’t a lifetime achievement award. … We’re talking about who’s having the best year, not who’s the better player.
“We love Anthony. He’s a good kid and a great player. But his numbers are down. I’m not going to give it to him just because he’s a perennial great player. He has not played like an All-Star this year.”
Charles Barkley says he put Jordan Clarkson over Anthony Davis on his All-Star reserves list pic.twitter.com/pJBm8K5Gn5
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) February 19, 2021
The selection is the 8th of Davis’ career.
LeBron James Keeps Trucking in Year 18
There’s was no debate about LeBron James being an All-Star. He garnered the most votes overall with 5,922,554 and will be a captain for the fourth year in a row.
James’ 17th All-Star selection is third-most in NBA history, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) and Kobe Bryant (18). James is the leading scorer in All-Star Game history (385 points) and extends his record for consecutive All-Star starts to 17. Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will be the other All-Star Captain.
The game will be a bittersweet experience for James, who has been a vocal opponent of it happening.
“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” James, said at the start of the month. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”
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