The All-Star Game is going to have plenty of new faces.
The NBA released the list of the players voted by the league’s head coaches as reserves for the Feb. 16 game in Chicago, including six who will be All-Stars for the first time.
Kyle Lowry of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors is headed back to the game, as are Miami’s Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Houston’s Russell Westbrook and — for the first time since 2016 — Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul.
The other reserves are all first-time selections: Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis, New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram and the Utah duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
Those six — combined with starters Pascal Siakam, Luka Doncic and Trae Young, whose spots were revealed last week — mean nine first-time All-Stars will be at the game.
That’s the highest number of first-time All-Stars in a decade.
Among the notable omissions from the reserve list: Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Detroit’s Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond, Washington’s Bradley Beal and Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon. Beal is sixth in the NBA in scoring entering Thursday and Booker is eighth, while Drummond leads the league in rebounds per game.
Paul is an All-Star selection for the 10th time and Westbrook got an All-Star nod for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons.
Captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will pick their teams on Feb. 6.