Joel Embiid named NBA All-Star reserve, James Harden not selected


Joel Embiid was named one of the Eastern Conference’s seven reserves for the NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night, while James Harden was not – ending a string of 10 straight All-Star nods for Harden.

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Embiid, whose string of five straight All-Star starting nods was snapped when the starters were announced last month, joins Miami’s Bam Adebayo and the Knicks’ Julius Randle as the frontcourt players selected for the Eastern Conference’s pool for the Feb. 19 game.

The 30 NBA head coaches selected the seven reserves in each conference, picking from two guards, three frontcourt players and two in any position in their respective conferences. That group, plus the 10 named starters, will be divvied up via an All-Star Draft just ahead of the game by captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Embiid, who was Eastern Conference Player of the Month in both December and January, was a shocking starter snub, as he finished fourth – about 300K votes behind Jayson Tatum – among frontcourt players in a vote that was 50 percent fans, 25 percent players, and 25 percent media.

He was coy about his chances of being named a reserve when asked Wednesday night, saying “you never know” and that he is “used to the disrespect,” but he was undeniable with a 33.5 points per game average through Thursday that just edges out West starter Luka Doncic for the best mark in the NBA.

Embiid is also tied for ninth in the NBA with 10.1 rebounds per game, sixth with 1.7 blocks per game, and second in efficiency rating at 35.3.

As for Harden, he is averaging 24.1 points and would lead the league with 11.0 assists per game, but he has only played in just 34 of the Sixers’ 50 games so far, missing time with a foot injury. Tyrese Haliburton, Jrue Holiday, Jaylen Brown, and DeMar Derozan were selected as the two backcourt and two at-large reserves for the East instead.

The Beard had been an All-Star every year from 2013-22, the first coming the year after he was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN

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