The reserves for this year’s NBA All-Star teams will be announced on Thursday night on TNT at 7:00 p.m. ET, and at least one player admitted that he won’t be at all pleased if he doesn’t hear that his name has been called.
Damian Lillard should be in; he’s been the best player on a very good Blazers team, which figures to be represented by LaMarcus Aldridge, as well.
But if for some reason the coaches go in another direction, Lillard will simply use the snub as motivation for him to turn it up a notch in the second part of the season.
The waiting is old hat for Aldridge, who has played in the last three All-Star games, but Lillard, who was named to his first All-Star team in his second season, is just a tad bit antsy for the announcement.
“I wouldn’t say nervous,” said Lillard. “I feel like I’ve done what I needed to do. Anxious? A little bit, just to see if it’s going to happen or not. I feel like it is, but there’s nothing like that moment when it actually does. That’s kind of what I’m waiting for.” …
“If I do make it, I’ll be excited,” said Lillard. “I’m looking forward to being in another All-Star game. If I don’t, I’m going to be pissed off and you’ll see a re-energized Damian Lillard after the break. I’ll be re-energized anyway, but if I don’t make it, you’ll see it even more.”
For what it’s worth, all of us at PBT saw Lillard as worthy of making the squad. But in a crowded backcourt field that includes Chris Paul, Mike Conley and Klay Thompson, it’s of course possible that he ends up missing the cut.
Before Thompson broke out with that NBA record performance, I thought he’d be the one on the outside looking in. I just didn’t see the coaches snubbing Paul, Westbrook, or Lillard to get Klay into the mix, and now with Kobe Bryant done for the season, he would have been named to the All-Star game as an injury replacement, regardless.
But now, I think the coaches don’t ignore Thompson, while another guy gets snubbed before ultimately being named as an All-Star in Bryant’s absence. That may or may not be Lillard, but either way, it’ll be intriguing to see how the coaches saw things when the results of their voting is revealed later this evening.