Today, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker becomes the Phoenix Suns first All-Star since Steve Nash in 2012.
Booker has put up incredible offensive numbers for the Suns for the past two years, stepping his game even more this season with averages of 26.4 points on 62.5% true shooting, 6.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds.
Booker was not originally voted to the game, but was named to join the All-Stars today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace Damian Lillard, who suffered a groin strain in Wednesday’s night’s Blazers - Grizzlies contest.
Lillard endorsed Booker to replace him, and the NBA obliged. Not only is the Suns’ star an All-Star, but he will be back in the 3-Point Contest taking Lillard’s spot there as well.
Damian Lillard says he will not compete in All-Star game or 3 pt. Contest because of groin injury. Says he hopes somebody deserving like Devin Booker replaces him.— Jason Quick (@jwquick) February 13, 2020
Booker becomes the 65th All-Star injury replacement in league history. There will be no asterisk after Booker’s All-Star designation, just like there isn’t one next to his good friend D’Angelo Russell last year, or Goran Dragic, Paul George, Kemba Walker and Andre Drummond the year before that.
The Phoenix Suns have never had a player named an injury replacement before. Tom Chambers was named as an injury replacement in 1987 before going on to win the MVP of the All-Star game, but he was still a Seattle Supersonic at the time. Goran Dragic was an injury replacement two years ago while with the Heat. Joe Johnson was an injury replacement in 2007 after being traded to Atlanta, starting a string of six straight All-Star games for Joe.
Booker is now one of seven West guards named as NBA All-Stars this year, along with starters James Harden and Luka Doncic — who were voted in by a combination of fans, media and players — and reserves Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard who were voted in by the coaches.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says one of his votes went to Booker.
hello from the Suns! here's Steve Kerr on Devin Booker not making the All Star roster: "I voted for him. And I'm not just saying that bc we're playing against them tonight, I'm not trying to butter him up. I think he's had an all-star year. ... I was disappointed for him."— katherine fitzgerald (@kfitz134) February 13, 2020
Long time All-Stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are both injured this year and ineligible for the game. Doncic, Booker and Mitchell are making their debut appearances.
Along the West front court are starters LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers. Those three were fan/media/player picks. The three reserves voted in by NBA head coaches to join them are Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert and Brandon Ingram.