Ben Simmons makes second All-Star appearance, NBA announces in 2020 reserve list
The NBA announced the list of reserves for the upcoming 2020 NBA All-Star Game on Friday morning, which includes Australia’s Ben Simmons, who is Australia’s first NBA All-Star, and earns his second All-Star selection this season.
The reserves were selected by the NBA’s head coaches, who voted for players in their respective conferences, and were not allowed to vote for players in their own teams.
Simmons’ team is yet to be determined – the reserves will be selected by respective team captains, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, in a TNT show titled “2020 NBA All-Star Draft presented by Jordan Brand”, on 6 Feb at 7pm US Eastern Time (7 Feb 11am AEDT). All starters outside of the team captains, are drafted in the first round, starting with James’ pick in the first round. Antetokounmpo will pick first for the reserves in the second round.
The NBA also announced a series of changes to this year’s All-Star game. The winning team for each of the first three quarters, will nominate a Chicago-based community organisation of their choice, with a $100,000 donation donated for every quarter. The fourth quarter will be an untimed quarter. The first team that reaches the final target score (total scoring by leading team + 24 points, in tribute to Kobe Bryant) wins the game. The overall winning team earns another $200,000 for its community organisation, and $100,000 goes to the losing team’s designated community organisation.
This season, Simmons is averaging 16.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.4 assists across 46 games played, and is still a contender for the Defensive Player of the Year title. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, Simmons’ role will continue to expand in multiple ways, including being used off the ball as a screen setter, or as a centre in small lineups.
The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago.
2020 NBA All-Star game reserves
- Rudy Gobert, Jazz (1st All-Star selection): The two-time reigning Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year is the second French player to become an NBA All-Star (along with Tony Parker) and joins Toronto’s Siakam and Milwaukee’s Middleton as NBA G League veterans turned NBA All-Stars.
- Brandon Ingram, Pelicans (1st All-Star selection): Voted an All-Star in his first season with New Orleans, the 22-year-old Ingram competed in NBA Rising Stars in both 2017 and 2018.
- Nikola Jokić, Nuggets (2nd All-Star selection): The Serbian center, who turns 25 three days after the 2020 NBA All-Star Game (Feb. 19), is the first Nuggets player to earn back-to-back All-Star selections since Carmelo Anthony in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
- Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (5th All-Star selection): Lillard has become the second player to make five All-Star Games with Portland, joining Clyde Drexler (eight with the Trail Blazers).
- Donovan Mitchell, Jazz (1st All-Star selection): The 2018 Slam Dunk champion and two-time NBA Rising Stars participant joins Gobert to give Utah multiple All-Star selections for the first time since the 2006-07 season (Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur).
- Chris Paul, Thunder (10th All-Star selection): Paul was selected as an All-Star nine consecutive seasons from 2007-08 through 2015-16. He was named the Kia NBA All-Star MVP in 2013.
- Russell Westbrook, Rockets (9th All-Star selection): Westbrook is the only player to win the Kia NBA All-Star MVP Award outright in back-to-back years (2015 and 2016).
- Bam Adebayo, Heat (1st All-Star selection): The third-year NBA player is an All-Star in his first season as a full-time starter. He was selected by Miami with the 14th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, one spot behind Mitchell, another first-time All-Star this season.
- Jimmy Butler, Heat (5th All-Star selection): Butler, who averaged 6.6 points per game over his first two NBA seasons as the 30th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, has earned five All-Star selections in the last six seasons.
- Kyle Lowry, Raptors (6th All-Star selection): With his sixth consecutive All-Star nod, Lowry becomes the first player to be named to at least six All-Star teams after not being selected in any of his first eight seasons.
- Khris Middleton, Bucks (2nd All-Star selection): This is the second straight All-Star honor for Middleton, who last season became the first player to be named an NBA All-Star after playing in the NBA G League.
- Domantas Sabonis, Pacers (1st All-Star selection): The runner-up for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Sixth Man Award is the second Lithuanian player to be named an All-Star, joining Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
- Ben Simmons, 76ers (2nd All-Star selection): The 23-year-old Australian has followed his Kia NBA Rookie of the Year-winning season in 2017-18 with back-to-back All-Star selections.
- Jayson Tatum, Celtics (1st All-Star selection): Tatum’s first All-Star Game takes place less than three weeks before his 22nd birthday (March 3). At NBA All-Star 2019 in Charlotte, Tatum won the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and scored 30 points to help the U.S. Team defeat the World Team in Rising Stars.