The NBA just announced the results of its voting for starters for the 2021 All Star Game on TNT. To nobody’s surprise, Clippers’ superstar forward Kawhi Leonard was selected to start in the All Star Game. This will be his fifth All Star nod, a surprisingly low number for how great an impact Kawhi has had on the NBA over the past decade.
Kawhi was third in the fan voting for frontcourt players in the Western Conference, behind Nikola Jokic and LeBron James, third in the media vote behind the aforementioned players, and fourth in player voting behind Jokic, LeBron, and Anthony Davis. This gave him a slight edge over AD, who was 4th in fan voting and 5th in media voting (behind Rudy Gobert), thus earning him the spot.
Kawhi is averaging 26.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 51.3% from the field, 38.9% from three, and 87.9% from the free throw line. Those are exceptional numbers, and combine that with his defensive play and the Clippers’ excellent play when he’s on the court, and you have a clear and deserving candidate.
Paul George, the Clippers’ other star, missed out. He ranked fifth in all three voting categories, and will have to earn a reserve vote from the pool of NBA head coaches. While he’s probably having a better season than Davis, the three voted starters are clearly better than PG, so it’s not really a surprise or disappointment that PG got left off. He will almost certainly make the game as a reserve.
Funny enough, a few other Clippers players received votes as well. Fans can vote for anyone, so just about all players received some votes, but Pat Beverley and Lou Williams received love from their peers with 6 and 5 player votes respectively for the backcourt position. From the frontcourt, Serge Ibaka received 5 votes, while Nic Batum received 7. Those players are all respected veterans, and probably just had a few friends vote for them, but it’s still cool to see (even if they’re all undeserving for an All Star Game).
That’s about it! Kawhi Leonard is in the 2021 All Star Game, and we will keep you posted regarding Paul George’s status – the reserves should be released next week.