SALT LAKE CITY – Devin Booker appreciates saying Monty Williams should start the NBA All-Star Game next month in Cleveland, but all is well.
“I appreciate it, but I don’t worry about that anymore,” Booker said after scoring 43 points in Phoenix’s 105-97 win over Utah Wednesday night. “I’m at a different stage in my career.”
The NBA announced the All-Star start Thursday on TNT’s NBA Tip-off Show and Booker was not voted as a starter in the Western Conference’s backcourt.
Stephen Curry (Warriors) and Ja Morante (Grizzlies) were voted in the backcourt at the start, while LeBron James (Lakers), Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) and Andrew Wiggins (Warriors) made it the start of the conference..
Booker finished fifth in the third backcourt voting comeback for the Western Conference behind Curry (Warriors), Morant (Grizzlies), Luka Dongic (Mavericks) and Klay Thompson, who has played just seven games this season after missing the last two seasons with multiple injuries.
1. Stephen Curry (GSW) – 6019418
2- Ja Morante (MEM) – 2623359
3- Luka Doncic (DAL) – 1.923.187
4- Clay Thompson (GSW) – 1,240,781
5. Devin Booker (PHX) – 867222
6- Russell Westbrook (LAL) – 855990
7. Chris Paul (PHX) – 758336
Fans make up 50% of the rookie vote. Current NBA players make up 25% while the media make up the remaining 25% vote for beginners.
“I kind of laugh at the voting numbers when I see them at the bottom of the index, and a lot of guys get more votes than him,” Williams said. “It’s laughable. When you look at what he’s done, not just recently, but throughout the season and the win we’ve had, he has to be a key player on the All-Star Team and tonight was one of those games where I think he proved that point.”
The Sun’s goal is to have the best record in the Western Conference so that Williams and the coaching staff can achieve the All-Star Game. The Suns currently have the best NBA record of 38-9 with an eight-game winning streak.
“That’s our main goal,” said Booker, who averages 30.5 points on Phoenix’s current winning streak. “We will continue to do business and do what we have to do. Let the politics and media popularity contest discover itself.”
So the Suns, who are three games ahead of Golden State for the best record in the NBA, likely won’t have an All-Star player. Last year, Utah State had the best record in the NBA, but no All-Star player. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell made them backup.
Booker hit it twice as an injury substitute. He replaced Damien Lillard in 2020 and Anthony Davis last year.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver selects injury substitutions.
Booker did not play in the All-Star Game last year in Atlanta as he had a sprained knee. He was replaced by Jazz goalkeeper Mike Conley to make his first All-Star appearance.
So, Booker didn’t make it a starter or a fallback.
Head coaches vote for the reserve team. Those will be announced on February 3 as Paul, an 11-time All-Star, and Booker are expected to include them for the reserve.
Booker in his seventh season in the NBA. The All-Star Game February 20 in Cleveland.
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