The 2020 All-Star reserves were recently released and, unsurprisingly, no San Antonio Spurs will be in the All-Star game this year.
It was always a long shot that one of LaMarcus Aldridge or DeMar DeRozan would be named a reserve for the 2020 All-Star Game. The San Antonio Spurs slow start combined with some seriously impressive play from other stars around the Western Conference made it difficult for either one of the Spurs to make the final roster.
The omission of both of the Spurs stars from the group of reserves became official on Thursday afternoon. The Athletics’ Shams Charania was the first to announce that the reserves from the West would be Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul.
As upsetting as it is that neither of San Antonio’s stars will be in the big game it’s hard to be mad at who was selected. Looking at the group of eight players there isn’t one that stands out as less deserving than either one of Aldridge or DeRozan.
The only one you might be able to split hairs with is Russell Westbrook, and even that is a stretch. He’s shooting an abysmal 24 percent from behind the arc but he’s also averaging a very on-brand 26.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game. He’s also on a team that’s significantly higher in the standings than the Spurs.
The All-Star game might mean more for young players like Mitchell and Ingram who are both making their first appearance. But for a seasoned veteran like DeRozan, mid-season honors like this are less important now than they were in the earlier stages of his career. As he spoke to reporters after the Spurs knocked off the Jazz on Wednesday night he talked about what the All-Star game means to him at this point.
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“I don’t base my career off all-star games anymore. It’s definitely an honor,” DeRozan said. “You definitely want to be a part of it, but you can’t go out there and try and force it. If you get picked, you get picked.”
DeRozan has taken part in four All-Star games over the course of his career and Aldridge has seven under his belt. It’s not surprising that both feel less strong about making the game in their veteran years. If anything they may very well welcome the extra rest that they will be able to enjoy now that they don’t have any obligations over All-Star weekend.
There’s still a chance that the San Antonio Spurs could be represented at All-Star weekend. The rosters for the rookie and sophomore game, otherwise known as the Rising Stars Challenge, have yet to be announced. It would be both surprising and disappointing if Lonnie Walker were not included in the group of young players chosen to take part in that game.
All-Star weekend falls right in the middle of the Spurs daunting Rodeo Road Trip. The extra rest will be just what the doctor ordered for the Spurs two stars as they focus on their main goal, making the postseason.