An All-Star rejection streak is in the past for Utah Jazz star Mike Conley.
Across 12 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before landing with the Utah Jazz via a 2019 trade, Mike Conley displayed a handful of respectable All-Star arguments in a small market but fell short of an actual nod each and every year.
But this year, as a sharpshooting starting guard for the team boasting the No. 1 record in the league, Conley possessed a now-or-never mindset when speaking to media about his All-Star sights back in February:
“I think that this year everything is falling into place. We have the best record. We’ve got a coach coaching the West team. So it’s all falling in line. If it’s not going to happen this year, that’d be tough.”
Well, it didn’t happen because of yet another bonafide snub. Yet then it did…
Utah Jazz lefty replacing a replacement
Initially, NBA commissioner Adam Silver chose Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker as an All-Star replacement to injured Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis. However, due to Booker’s knee sprain on Thursday night, Silver had the task of announcing the replacement’s replacement on Friday evening.
Now, Silver’s selection of Mike Conley, who is averaging 16.1 points and 5.7 assists to go along with 1.4 steals and only 1.9 turnovers per game, eliminates any possibility of the veteran playmaker having to wear the tag of the greatest ever to have never been an All-Star.
When the 2021 rendition tips off at 6 p.m. MT Sunday in Atlanta, Conley will be on the bench for Team Durant alongside Jazz teammate and two-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. They’ll take on Team LeBron, including Utah center and two-time All-Star Rudy Gobert, who is also a reserve, in addition to the franchise’s head coach, Quin Snyder, who, like Conley, is an All-Star newbie.
Conley, who is shooting a career-high 42.2 percent beyond the arc while averaging a personal-best 2.8 makes from downtown this season, has the privilege of replacing Booker in the 3-Point Contest as well.
That’ll take place roughly an hour prior to the All-Star Game. This will also mark Conley’s first career appearance in the 3-Point Contest. He’ll be competing in it against Mitchell plus Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Zach LaVine, and Jaylen Brown.
After what will be a nine-day break following three losses between the squad’s past four games, Mike Conley and the Jazzmen (27-9) will not make their return to the court until 8 p.m. MT Friday when they host the Houston Rockets (11-23).