No Jazz Players Named All-Star Starters
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – None of the Utah Jazz three All-Star hopefuls were named starters for the March 7 event.
All-Star starters were announced on Thursday night on TNT, and neither Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, nor Mike Conley earned a starting nod despite leading the Jazz to the best record in the NBA by the time voting concluded.
In the West, guards Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks were named starters in the backcourt. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic earned the starting bids in the frontcourt.
James led all vote-getters, receiving 5.9 millon votes, and will serve as a captain alongside Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, the East’s leading vote-getter, to select their teams from the full list of All-Stars.
James and Durant must fill out their lineups by selecting starters first and will finalize their rosters by choosing the remaining All-Star reserves who will be named Tuesday.
Both Gobert and Mitchell are strong favorites to be named All-Stars in light of the Jazz mid-season success. Both players were named to their first All-Star teams last season.
Mitchell led Jazz players in voting. He received the fourth most votes among fans and media to start for the Western Conference playoff team and was fifth among the players.
Gobert was 12th in fan voting for frontcourt players, seventh in player voting and fourth in media.
Conley faces an uphill battle to be named to his first All-Star team, a fight that got tougher after missing the last six games with a hamstring injury.
But while the Jazz won’t see any of their players in the game’s starting lineup, head coach Quin Snyder will be front and center at the festivities. The Jazz play-caller was named head coach for the West after leading to the Jazz to an NBA best 24-5 record to open the season.
The Eastern Conference starters will be Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Nets guard Kyrie Irving, Durant, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
The Jazz haven’t had an All-Star starter in more than two decades. Karl Malone made his final start in the game in 1998, coincidentally the last season the Jazz made the NBA Finals.
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