LOS ANGELES, USA – Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul and Houston’s Russell Westbrook, who were traded for each other in the offseason, highlight the reserves for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game next month in Chicago.
Paul will be making his 10th appearance and Westbrook his ninth as they are 2 of 7 reserves added from the Western Conference, the league announced on Thursday, January 30 (Friday, January 31, Philippine time).
They are joined by Portland’s Damian Lillard, who is making his fifth appearance, and Denver center Nikola Jokic, who earned his second nod. New Orleans forward Brandon Ingram and Utah teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, of France, will be making their All-Star debuts.
Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons top the list of players chosen by the league’s coaches from the Eastern Conference.
Lowry is heading to the showcase for the sixth consecutive season.
The 33-year-old Lowry was 1 of 7 Eastern Conference reserves named on Thursday for the February 16 game where he will join teammate Pascal Siakam who was selected as a starter last week.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Miami’s Bam Adebayo and Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis were also picked from the East.
While the reserves included plenty of veteran talent, Mitchell, Gobert, Ingram, Adebayo, Tatum and Sabonis are all first-time selections.
Gobert becomes the third French player to make the All-Star game after Tony Parker and Joakim Noah. The reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year is in his seventh season.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James will captain the Western Conference team and Milwaukee Bucks reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo will take charge of the Eastern Conference side.
James and Antetokounmpo – who will serve as captains for the second consecutive season after emerging as the top two vote getters – will select the rosters for their own teams on February 6 from the pool of available players, regardless of conference, for the February 16 showcase in Chicago.
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic is the fresh face in the starters list this season as the Slovenian standout joins Houston Rockets star James Harden in the West backcourt. Los Angeles Clippers forward and 2019 finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Lakers forward Anthony Davis fill out the frontcourt.
Atlanta Hawks’ rising second-year star Trae Young will be joined in the East backcourt by Boston Celtics’ Kemba Walker, while Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid and Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam round out the East roster.
#TeamGiannis x #TeamLeBron— 2020 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 31, 2020
Team Captains Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James will select from the #NBAAllStar player pool in the NBA All-Star 2020 Draft Show.
Thursday Feb. 6, 7:00pm/et, @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/Qk5gcisvam
On Thursday, the NBA announced that a new format will be in place that will honor the jersey No. 24 of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. (READ: NBA All-Star game format to honor Kobe Bryant)
Under the first-time format, each quarter will be played as a “mini-game” for charity.
Scores will be reset to 0-0 at the start of the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
Going into the 4th, the teams will start with all the points they have amassed with a target score set to win the game.
The target will be the number of points scored by the leading team through the first 3 quarters – plus 24. – Rappler.com