More players for next month’s NBA All-Stars Game were announced Thursday night. They will include these first-timers: Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson, Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague. Each player was selected by coaches from their respective conference, ESPN and The Associated Press reported. The coaches had to vote for two guards, three frontcourt players and two all-around players, none of which could be from their own teams. That begs the question, who were the notable snubs?
Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins -- one of three NBA players who average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game -- and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard were not selected by coaches in the Western Conference. San Antonio's Tim Duncan and league MVP Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder were chosen ahead of Cousins. But Durant got the coaches’ nod despite having played only 21 of the first 46 season games due to injuries. Speaking of injuries, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers had a season-ending shoulder problem, on which he recently underwent surgery.
That means NBA commissioner Adam Silver will have the responsibility of choosing Bryant's replacement for All-Stars Game. But Western Conference coach Steve Kerr can choose who starts in Bryant's place. In the East, a hamstring injury for the Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade will have Silver choosing his replacement, too. The All-Star Game’s starters were unveiled last week after NBA fans voted.
Other prominent snubs in the West include the Memphis Grizzlies duo Zach Randolph and Mike Conley; Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and Tyson Chandler; Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard; San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard; and the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan, according to the ESPN report. Snubs in the East include Hawks’ Kyle Korver; Orlando Magic’s Nikola Vucevic; Cavaliers’ Kevin Love; Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson; Detroit Pistons’ Greg Monroe and Brandon Jennings; and Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Knight.