New Orleans forward Zion Williamson can now be called an NBA All-Star, and only three others in the game's 70-year history have gotten there at a younger age.
Williamson is one of the first four All-Stars, who were all announced on Tuesday-evening when the league announced the reserves for the March 7 game in Atlanta. He joined him as fellow All-Star rookies: Jaylen Brown from Boston, Julius Randle from New York, and Zach LaVine in Chicago.
Phoenix's Chris Paul is an All-Star for the 11th time and James Harden of Brooklyn is one for the ninth consecutive year. The rest of the reservations include Ben Simmons of Philadelphia, Jayson Tatum of Boston and Nikola Vucevic of Orlando of the Eastern Conference, along with Anthony Davis of Los Angeles Lakers, Paul George of Los Angeles Clippers, teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of Utah, and Damian Lillard of the Western Conference.
“It's an absolute honor,” said Mitchell.
Team captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will line up their teams next week, with the rosters revealed on March 4. Starters, revealed last week, were chosen by a combination of votes by fans, NBA players and a media panel.
Reserves were chosen by votes by the league's head coaches.
"You're doing your best," said Orlando coach Steve Clifford. "It's not easy.… It's hard every year, and if you look at this year in the East, there were some guys worth making it to. So it's hard every year."
Trae Young of Atlanta, an All-Star last season, isn't one this year, despite coming in an average of 26.9 points on Tuesday, the most of all unselected. Miami doesn't forward Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, and neither does Phoenix's Devin Booker.
“Devin Booker is the most respected player in our league !!!! It's that simple, & # 39; tweeted James.
Mike Conley from Utah – someone who desperately wanted to see the NBA leading Jazz be there for what would have been the first time – also missed the nod.
"For a man like him who has done so many things in his career, on and off the floor, he deserves this," Mitchell said of Conley.
Not enough coaches agreed. There is still a chance for Conley as Davis will likely miss the game due to an injury. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will choose any injury substitutes; a player who bows out is replaced by someone else from their respective conference.
Williamson is 20, and only Kobe Bryant, James and Magic Johnson were younger in their All-Star debuts. Six other 20-year-olds have been selected for previous All-Star Games, but all were closer to their 21st birthday then than Williamson is today.
Randle has been the best player for the Knicks, who are trying to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Brown averages a best career of 25.5 points for Boston. And LaVine has been to the All-Star weekend many times, winning two dunk games and an MVP award at the Rising Stars game. But this will be his first time in the All-Star Game itself.
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James and Durant will be the first to choose from eight other starters for their teams: Giannis Antetokounmpo from Milwaukee, Bradley Beal from Washington, Stephen Curry from Golden State, Luka Doncic from Dallas, Joel Embiid from Philadelphia, Kyrie Irving from Brooklyn, Nikola Jokic from Denver and the Kawhi Leonard of Los Angeles Clippers.
Brooklyn is the only team with three All-Stars. There are five teams – Boston, Clippers, Lakers, Philadelphia, and Utah – with two All-Stars and 11 clubs with one All-Star squad.
The 13 without All-Star, for now: Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio and Toronto.
Indiana and Toronto, the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds of the East that came in on Tuesday, did not receive All-Star selections.
The players who were All-Stars last season and didn't make it this year: Booker, Adebayo, Butler, Young, Toronto teammates Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, Indiana & # 39; s Domantas Sabonis, Washington & # 39; s Russell Westbrook (who won the last season as a member of the Houston Rockets), Boston & # 39; s Kemba Walker, New Orleans & # 39; Brandon Ingram and Milwaukee & # 39; s Khris Middleton.
Quin Snyder from Utah will coach Team LeBron and Doc Rivers from Philadelphia will coach Team Durant.