2020 NBA All-Star Game reserves: Russell Westbrook in; Paul George snubbed; plenty of first-time All-Stars

Last week, after a month of fan voting, and input from the players and media, the starters for the 2020 All-Star Game were announced. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James led the way with the most votes, and joining him as a captain was the league's reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks

Rounding out the starters were, from the Western Conference, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Luka Doncic. And from the Eastern Conference, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Trae Young and Kemba Walker

Now, after Thursday night's announcement, we know the remaining 14 players to fill out the squads as reserves. These players were all selected by coaches, who submitted their votes over the past week after the starters were announced. They had to select three frontcourt players, two guards and two wild cards from any position. 

Eastern Conference reserves

PlayerTeamPosition

Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat

Frontcourt

Jimmy Butler

Miami Heat

Frontcourt

Kyle Lowry

Toronto Raptors

Guard

Khris Middleton

Milwaukee Bucks

Frontcourt

Domantas Sabonis

Indiana Pacers

Frontcourt

Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers

Guard

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Frontcourt

Western Conference reserves

PlayerTeamPosition

Rudy Gobert

Utah Jazz

Frontcourt

Brandon Ingram

New Orleans Pelicans

Frontcourt

Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets

Frontcourt

Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers

Guard

Donovan Mitchell

Utah Jazz

Guard

Chris Paul

Oklahoma City Thunder

Guard

Russell Westbrook

Houston Rockets

Guard

Here are a few key takeaways now that we know the full rosters:

1. George, Booker, Beal among notable snubs

Once we get the final rosters, one of the first things everyone wants to talk about every year is snubs. So, we'll do the same. Picking the All-Star rosters is not a perfect process. There are conference and position requirements, and input from four different groups: fans, media, coaches and players. They do a pretty good job, to be fair, but it's not always an exact representation of the 24 best players in the league. 

Perhaps the most notable snub is Paul George. The Clippers star has missed 21 games, or nearly half the season, which likely played a big role in him not making the team. Because when he's been on the floor he's been awesome, putting up 23.5 points, six rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 39.5 percent from 3. 

Also out West, Devin Booker once again missed out. The fifth-year sharpshooter has become an even better scorer this season, putting up 27.1 points per game, which is eighth in the league. He's also dishing out 6.4 assists, and grabbing 4.1 rebounds a night while trying to drag the Suns into the playoffs -- they're 3.5 games out of the eighth spot right now. 

Finally, heading over to the Eastern Conference, Bradley Beal has to be pretty disappointed he didn't make the team for a third straight season. He's currently sixth in the league in scoring, dropping an impressive 28.6 points per game, which would be a new career high. He's not playing any defense, however, and the Wizards are terrible, both of which must have been factors in him not making the team. 

2. Half a dozen first-time All-Stars 

The actual All-Star Game is fine, but as you can tell by the scores over the years, players don't really take it all that seriously. What matters most is being selected to the team and getting to be a part of the experience. Which is why it was awesome to see so many first-time All-Stars this season. There's so much young talent in the league, and we're starting to see those players ascend into actual stars. 

Each conference had three first-time All-Stars, adding up to half a dozen, or 25 percent of the players in this year's All-Star Game. Let's quickly go through all of them. 

First, in the Eastern Conference, there's Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum and Domantas Sabonis. The Heat big man has been spectacular this season, and is a candidate for Most Improved Player, Tatum has made the leap everyone was expecting last season and Sabonis is an absolute workhorse for the Pacers, helping them thrive in Victor Oladipo's absence. 

In the West, meanwhile, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram and Donovan Mitchell are all making the trip for the first time. Even cooler is that Gobert and Mitchell will get to do so together after turning into a terrific frontcourt-backcourt tandom in Utah. The duo has been instrumental in turning the Jazz into a serious playoff team. As for Ingram, he's taken advantage of a new start in New Orleans to make good on the promise that made him the No. 2 pick a few years ago. 

3. Incredible Spurs streak comes to an end

Looking through the list of the All-Stars, you might have noticed that no San Antonio Spurs made the team. There are many teams without All-Stars, but the Spurs not having any is notable because it's the first time that has happened since way back in 1997. Yes, over two decades ago. Coincidentally, that's also the last time they failed to make the playoffs, and that streak is in danger as well. 

Tim Duncan, of course, carried the banner for them for many of those years, making the All-Star Game 13 seasons in a row from 1998 until 2011, and then again in 2013 and 2015. David Robinson, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker also had a few appearances here and there, but the streak is mostly on the strength of Duncan alone. Then, in 2016, LaMarcus Aldridge arrived and picked up the torch, making the team in 2016, 2018 and 2019, while Kawhi Leonard was their lone participant in 2017. 

This time around, Aldridge didn't make it, and never really had a chance. DeMar DeRozan was also a fringe snub candidate thanks to a recent hot streak, but also came up short. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories