PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was selected Wednesday to replace injured Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis in the NBA All-Star Game.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver choose Booker to take Davis’ spot a day after Booker was snubbed by the league’s head coaches for a reserve spot in the March 7 game in Atlanta.
Booker received a big ovation from the home crowd Wednesday night when the sixth-year guard was announced as a two-time All-Star during the starting lineup introductions. Coach Monty Williams said pregame that the honor was well deserved.
“The situation at the time was a bit weird for us when Devin didn’t get the call, but we’re grateful for what has transpired over the last few hours and we’re just happy for Book,” Williams said.
After Booker was snubbed Tuesday night, there was a chorus of disbelief from some of the league’s top players, including LeBron James.
“Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that,” the Lakers star tweeted.
Booker said he tried to not to get frustrated by the initial snub and looks forward to another All-Star experience.
“I focus on my family, my close ones around me,” Booker said. “They did a good job of keeping me very humble and down to earth. At the end of the day it is bigger than this basketball thing and the entertainment behind it and the politics behind it.
“I am getting to the age of finally understanding that.”
Davis, voted in as a reserve, is sidelined by a strained right calf.
Booker has received both of his All-Star selections as an injury replacement. He’s averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and shooting a career-high 50.1% from the field.
Booker and fellow All-Star Chris Paul have helped Phoenix to a 20-10 record, fourth-best in the NBA. The Suns last had two All-Stars in 2009-10 with Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.
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