LeBron James, NBA players stunned by Devin Booker All-Star snub: ‘Most disrespected player in our league’
Suns guard Chris Paul earned the 11th All-Star nod of his career with Tuesday night’s official announcement of the Eastern and Western Conference reserves, but some players around the league feel one of his teammates should be joining him in Atlanta for this year’s festivities.
Devin Booker is averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game this season while shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from 3-point range. Phoenix was fourth in the West standings (20-10) entering Tuesday’s slate of games, so the stats were hardly empty. Yet NBA coaches, who choose the reserves for the All-Star Game, didn’t feel that was enough to put Booker ahead of Paul, Anthony Davis, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell and Zion Williamson.
NBA ALL-STAR 2021: Full list of starters, reserves
Lakers forward LeBron James, who is one of the All-Star captains along with Kevin Durant, voiced his support for Booker and declared he is “the most disrespected player in our league.” He also gave a shoutout to Lillard, who lost a tiebreaker with Luka Doncic for one of the West’s starting guard spots.
James was hardly alone in his frustration. A few current and former NBA players were shocked that Booker’s name wasn’t called.
Booker may still have a chance to be an All-Star, though.
In the case of an injury, NBA commissioner Adam Silver can choose a replacement player. It is unlikely Davis will be able to appear in the All-Star Game as he continues to recover from a calf injury, so that opens the door for Silver to undo a perceived snub. As Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News noted, Silver doesn’t have to select a frontcourt player to fill Davis’ slot, but the replacement must be a Western Conference player.
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