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Mike Conley is finally ending his NBA All-Star drought, replacing an injured Devin Booker.
Mike Conley long held the title of “best active player to never appear in an All-Star Game.” Now he’ll finally be able to shed that title.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Tony Jones, the Utah Jazz guard — pending medical clearance — has been invited to the 2021 NBA All-Star Game as an injury replacement. He will be replacing Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker — an egregious All-Star snub who became Anthony Davis’ injury replacement — in the game.
Booker will be sitting out due to a left knee sprain, which he sustained in Phoenix’s final game before the break against the Golden State Warriors. Conley will be replacing Booker in the All-Star Game and in the 3-Point Contest.
Mike Conley finally gets his moment
It was a stretch to call Conley a snub, just as it was a stretch to suggest he was egregiously wronged in the All-Star voting in the past. However, there’s no question he’s been a deserving candidate multiple times throughout his career, and now, at age 33, he’ll finally get to add “All-Star” to his resume. Conley is a great player, teammate and person, so this news should be met with nothing but joy for every fanbase (with the exception of the San Antonio Spurs, who had a legitimate case for DeMar DeRozan to make the cut as well).
This is unfortunate news for Suns fans, who were jaded by Booker’s snub, relieved by his selection as an injury replacement and will now likely be disappointed he won’t be partaking after all. Book struggled in Thursday’s game after sustaining the injury in a collision with Kent Bazemore, but hopefully the time off will allow him to get right heading into the second half of the season.
The Jazz own the best record in the NBA heading into the break and now have three All-Stars to show for it — even if their first two All-Stars were the last picks in the All-Star draft. The Suns, meanwhile, own the second-best record in basketball and will only get to see Chris Paul partake in the All-Star Game and Skills Challenge.