Reigning Kia NBA MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and four first-time All-Stars lead the list of 14 players selected by the NBA’s head coaches as reserves for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Joining Westbrook as reserves in the Western Conference player pool are LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. Towns is an All-Star for the first time. With Green and Thompson earning spots alongside starters Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, the Warriors are the first team to have a record-tying four All-Stars in consecutive years.
The Eastern Conference reserve pool includes three first-time All-Stars: Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks. They are joined by Al Horford of the Boston Celtics, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and John Wall of the Wizards.
The 67th NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Stephen, will air on TNT and ESPN Radio. The midseason classic will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
Under the new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between conferences, Curry and Cleveland’s LeBron James – the All-Star starter from each conference who received the most fan votes in his conference – will serve as team captains and draft the team rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. All-Star team rosters will be unveiled on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. ET in a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.
Curry and James will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation. Each captain will choose 11 players to complete a 12-man roster. The 2018 NBA All-Star Draft rules are as follows:
- The eight All-Star Game starters (aside from Curry and James) will be drafted in the first round.
- The 14 All-Star Game reserves will be drafted in the second round.
- As the top overall vote-getter among fans, James will have the first pick in the first round (starters). Curry will have the first pick in the second round (reserves).
- The captains will alternate picks in each round until all players in that round have been selected.
The starters, announced last week, were selected by a combination of fans, current NBA players and a media panel. The East starter pool is James, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) and Kyrie Irving (Boston). The West starter pool is Curry, DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Kevin Durant (Golden State) and James Harden (Houston Rockets).
The 14 reserves were chosen by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. The coaches voted for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at either position group. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Silver’s selection would join the team that drafted the replaced player. If a replaced player is a starter, the head coach of that team will choose a new starter.
Team LeBron will be coached by the head coach from the Eastern Conference team with the best record through games played on Sunday, Feb. 4 among the 14 teams with an eligible head coach. Boston’s Brad Stevens is ineligible because he coached in last year’s All-Star Game. Team Stephen will be coached by the head coach from the Western Conference team with the best record through Feb. 4 among the 14 teams with an eligible head coach. Golden State’s Steve Kerr is ineligible because he coached in last year’s game.
2018 NBA ALL-STAR GAME RESERVE POOL
- Bradley Beal, Wizards (1st All-Star selection): In his sixth season, Beal is averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game and has more games of at least 20 points (35) than all but four players, trailing Antetokounmpo (40), Harden (37), James (36) and Westbrook (36).
- Al Horford, Celtics (5th All-Star selection): The 31-year-old is one of three players averaging at least 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and one blocked shot, joining Cousins and James.
- Kevin Love, Cavaliers (5th All-Star selection): Love (18.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg) is set to appear in the All-Star Game as a Cavalier for the first time; he was named a reserve last year but missed the game in New Orleans with a knee injury.
- Kyle Lowry, Raptors (4th All-Star selection): The 12-year veteran’s four All-Star selections have come in four consecutive seasons. Lowry is one of three players averaging at least 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists, along with James and Westbrook.
- Victor Oladipo, Pacers (1st All-Star selection): The five-year veteran and first-year Pacer is setting career highs in scoring (24.2 ppg), rebounding (5.2 rpg), steals (1.93 spg), field goal percentage (48.4) and three-point field goal percentage (40.2).
- Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks (1st All-Star selection): Porzingis, 22, is set to become the second-youngest Knick to appear in an All-Star Game. New York’s top scorer (23.3 ppg) will be less than two weeks older than Bill Cartwright when he played in the 1980 All-Star Game as a rookie.
- John Wall, Wizards (5th All-Star selection): An All-Star with Washington for the fifth straight year, he is now tied for the second-most selections in team history behind Elvin Hayes (eight). Wall is averaging at least 19.0 points and 9.0 assists for the third season in a row.
- LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs (6th All-Star selection): He is averaging team highs of 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds, his highest marks in three seasons with San Antonio. The Spurs have now had at least one player selected to 20 consecutive All-Star Games, the NBA’s longest active streak.
- Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves (4th All-Star selection): Making his fourth straight All-Star team, Butler is shooting a career-high 47.6 percent from the field to complement averages of 21.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his first season with Minnesota.
- Draymond Green, Warriors (3rd All-Star selection): The 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year earned his third All-Star nod in a row. Green joins James, Westbrook and the 76ers’ Ben Simmons as the only players averaging at least 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists.
- Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (3rd All-Star selection): Lillard is one of four players averaging at least 25.0 points and 6.0 assists, a group that includes Curry, Harden and James.
- Klay Thompson, Warriors (4th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the fourth consecutive year, Thompson (20.6 ppg) is shooting a career-high and NBA-best 45.3 percent from three-point range as well as career highs of 48.6 percent from the field and 88.1 percent from the free throw line.
- Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves (1st All-Star selection): The 22-year-old has recorded an NBA-high 41 double-doubles. Towns (20.2 ppg, 12.1 rpg) joins Butler to give Minnesota two All-Star selections for the first time since the 2003-04 season (Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett).
- Russell Westbrook, Thunder (7th All-Star selection): Westbrook, the NBA leader in assists (10.1 apg) to go with 24.8 points and 9.7 rebounds, is the only player to win the Kia NBA All-Star MVP outright in back-to-back years (2015 and 2016 games).