The starting lineups for the 2016 NBA All-Star game are voted on by the fans, but the reserves are selected by the coaches from each conference. And with the game a little more than two weeks away, we finally have a complete look at each team’s roster.
The official announcement came Thursday night live on TNT, so here are the reserves for each conference.
The starters were announced earlier this month. Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard made the cut for the West, and Dwyane Wade, Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were the ones the fans selected to represent the East.
As always, there were other worthy candidates. Dirk Nowitzki and Damian Lillard immediately come to mind as deserving of spots in the West, and Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Pau Gasol are among those who probably had a claim to a spot on the roster in the East.
But there are legitimate reasons for including some and excluding others, and it’s difficult to find fault in anyone the coaches ultimately named to the rosters.
With Draymond Green and Klay Thompson picked Thursday, the NBA champion Golden State Warriors have three All-Stars for the first time in 40 years.
Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Houston’s James Harden, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, the Clippers’ Chris Paul and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis were also chosen for the West squad for the Feb. 14 game in Toronto.
The Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan will represent the home team and is joined by fellow East reserves Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Miami’s Chris Bosh, Washington’s John Wall, Atlanta’s Paul Millsap and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas.
The reserves were selected by the head coaches in each conference, who had to vote for seven players: two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at any position. They were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
The coaches made Green a first-time selection and picked Thompson for the second year in a row. With Curry voted a starter by fans, the Warriors have three All-Stars for the first time since Rick Barry, Phil Smith and Jamaal Wilkes in 1976.
"It’s definitely something I could’ve never imagined happening," Green said during an interview with TNT. "It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to one day see that happen, but I could never imagine it happening like this."
Along with Green, who leads the NBA with eight triple-doubles, Drummond and Thomas were selected by coaches for their first All-Star Game. Drummond tops the league in rebounding and double-doubles, while Thomas, the 60th and final pick in the 2011 draft, is among the NBA’s top 12 in scoring and assists.
On the other end, Bosh will return to his original NBA city after being chosen for his 11th consecutive All-Star Game, trailing only the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (18), Cleveland’s LeBron James and Miami’s Dwyane Wade (both with 12) among active players. Paul is an All-Star for the ninth straight year.
West coaches passed on Lillard, who is in the NBA’s top seven in scoring and assists for a Portland team that is surprisingly in playoff position, but there appeared no obvious snubs in either conference.
DeRozan joins Lowry to comprise the first starting backcourt to play an All-Star Game in its home city since the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jerry West and Gail Goodrich in 1972.
DeRozan said it was a big moment because of how much pride he has in playing for the Raptors, who have won 10 straight games.
"And now to have the All-Star Game here and have two guys participating, it doesn’t get much bigger than that," DeRozan said. "It’s definitely a blessing. I have to credit the coaching staff and my teammates for helping me and Kyle get to this point."
Any players who have to withdraw because of injury would be replaced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich will coach the West and Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue leads the East. If a starter is injured, they would select the replacement in the lineup.