Mitchell, Gobert Picked Last In All-Star Draft
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – If Utah Jazz fans wanted motivation for their best players going into the second half of the season, they couldn’t have scripted a better outcome in Thursday’s All-Star draft. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were the last two players selected, split between Team LeBron and Team Durant.
Mitchell was the second to last pick by Durant, who will be led by Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers.
Gobert was the final overall pick by LeBron James where he will be reunited with Jazz head coach Quin Snyder.
Both Jazz players were chosen as reserves at their positions by the league’s coaches but fell to the final two picks in the All-Star draft.
TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley lambasted James and Durant for what he perceived as a slight against the Jazz who own the best record in the NBA.
“I’m not going for this Utah Jazz slander right now,” Barkley said. “Best record in the NBA and their best two players are the last two standing.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 5, 2021
James defended his pick, saying the decision to hold off on draft Jazz players stretched back to his childhood.
“There’s no slander,” James joked. “You guys have got to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. Even as great as Karl Malone and John Stockton were, we’d never pick those guys in video games.”
James passed on pick Gobert, even when saying he needed size, instead opting for Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis.
It's official, Quin Snyder will be the coach of the Western Conference #NBAAllStar team in March.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) February 18, 2021
Durant opted to select Mitchell rather than adding a backup center for starter Joel Embiid.
“Seventh pick, last pick for me, I need a basket, I’m going to get me a bucket,” Durant said. “Let me get Donovan Mitchell.”
Mitchell, Gobert, and Snyder will faceoff Sunday night in the All-Star game in Atlanta. The game will tipoff at 6 pm MT and will be broadcast on TNT.
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