Devin Booker was more focused on Phoenix Suns than NBA All-Star Game, Pick Hopes

Of course, Devin Booker wants to be an NBA All-Star again, but he doesn’t put too much energy into his mind.

“It’s going to be exciting but we’ll see,” he said after Thursday’s practice when asked how it would feel to play the annual game for a second straight year.

Booker, who was not chosen as a starter, will have to wait until next week to find out his all-star fate, as the reserves selected by the coaches will be named on TNT on Tuesday at 5pm.

Booker has heard other NBA players like LeBron James speak against the All-Star game, but the Phoenix Suns security guard has more pressing matters.

“A lot of people see it in different ways, but personally I’m just trying to stay locked up and not really focus on the All-Star weekend,” Booker said. “I’m focusing on our next two games and getting this team where we need to be.”

The Suns (17-10) had two consecutive games on Friday in New Orleans (12-16) and Saturday in Memphis (12-12).

The NBA All-Star game was received with uncertainty as it will be played in Atlanta on March 7th amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have no energy or excitement about an All-Star game this year,” James said earlier this month. “I don’t even understand why we have an all-star game.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the concerns on TNT Thursday night, saying fans are the driving force behind the game.

“All-Star is the number one fan engagement for the league this season,” said Silver. “It’s been a 70-year tradition, about 100 million people will vote for All-Stars. The highlights of the All-Star Weekend have historically generated close to a billion views. About 130 million people will see the All-Star Game on a global basis. “

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have worked together to take precautionary measures including private travel to and from Atlanta, a “mini-bubble” within a hotel for players and coaches, and improved PCR testing. There are no fan activities, ticket events or hospitality functions as part of the All-Star Weekend.

The league will consolidate the usual weekend events into one night, as the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Competition will take place before the game on Sunday, while the Slam Dunk competition will take place at halftime of the All-Star Game.

The NBA and NBPA plan to “allocate” more than $ 2.5 million to support historically black colleges, universities and communities affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Choose reserves

In terms of Booker’s chances of winning the game, the coaches select two backcourt players, three frontcourt players, and two wild cards, who can be either frontcourt players or backcourt players for each conference.

February 5, 2021;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Suns' Devin Booker warms up in one

Booker finished fifth among the West Guards in the starter voting, behind Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic, the selected starters, then Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell.

Doncic and Lillard were tied for second place, but Doncic got the nod when fan votes determine the tiebreaker. Doncic finished second in the fan poll while Lillard finished third.

LeBron James, the top fan voter with 5,922,554, Nikola Jokic and Kawhi Leonard are the starters on the forecourt of the West. Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid are the east starters.

Booker will fight for the two mandatory West Reserve Guard spots with Lillard, Mitchell, Ja Morant, DeMar DeRozan and his teammate Chris Pau as well as a wildcard selection.

Anthony Davis will be out for four weeks with a calf load. He is unlikely to participate in the game even if selected. That opens up a place where Paul George, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Rudy Gobert will compete for the selection of the forecourt.

Booker made it as an injury replacement for Lillard last year as Silver opts for an injury replacement.

If he doesn’t land either of the two mandatory sentries, Booker should be seriously considered for one of the wildcards or a replacement for Davis.

Devin Booker, the guardian of the Phoenix Suns, appears to fit as Joel Embiid, 21, defends the Philadelphia 76ers' center in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix on Saturday, February 13, 2021.  (AP Photo / Matt York)

Averaging 24.4 points at 49.2% shooting, Booker was named Monday’s Western Conference Player of the Week for the first time in his NBA career.

“That’s what comes with winning,” said Booker. “That’s what comes with developing culture, and I think the bulk of most of those awards and accomplishments is winning basketball games.”

From February 8-14, Booker averaged 32.3 points with 56.3% shooting (47.6% of 3), 5.3 assists and five rebounds in four games in Phoenix’s six-game winning streak.

“It’s never got a statistical point of view or anything like that,” continued Booker. “It’s a team effort. We all played well and we played really good basketball. Won a few games. You could have picked anyone on our team for it. You just picked me.”

Another breakdown of the votes for the West Starting Guard shows Booker finished fourth among the current players and fifth in the fan and media votes. The fans make up 50% of the vote, while the media and current players share the other 50% of the vote.

Fan voting (50% of the starter votes)

  1. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) 5,481,033
  2. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) 3,335,042
  3. Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazer) 2,848,663
  4. Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) 741,272
  5. Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns) 615,858
  6. Yes Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) 556,311
  7. Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns) 391, 667

Player voting (25% of the starting votes)

  1. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) 172
  2. Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazer) 131
  3. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) 58
  4. Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns) 55
  5. Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) 39
  6. De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) 27
  7. Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder) 26.

Media vote (25% of the starting votes)

  1. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) 96
  2. Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazer) 64
  3. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) 30
  4. Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) 10

No other player received a media vote.

Do you have an opinion on the current state of the sun? Reach Sun’s Insider Duane Rankin at [email protected] or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

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