Ball, Murray to replace Durant, Green in NBA All-Star Game
NEW YORK (AP) — Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball and San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray were named to the NBA All-Star Game on Monday as injury replacements for Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.
The league also announced that Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who was selected as a reserve, will replace Durant as a starter.
The 71st NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 20 in Cleveland.
This is the first All-Star selection for Ball, last year’s Rookie of the Year.
The 20-year-old Ball becomes the fourth-youngest All-Star in NBA history. He is averaging 19.6 points, 7.5 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 1.47 steals in 47 games for Charlotte.
Ball said he was taking a pre-game nap when he received a phone call from general manager Mitch Kupchak.
“I’m pretty much blessed, excited,” Ball said. “The season is still going on, the game is going on. I’m just worried about the game.”
Hornets coach James Borrego called it “exciting news.”
“Happy for Melo, happy for his teammates. I think they need to share this together. They’ve done this together and I know they’re extremely happy for him, proud of him, as am I as his coach,” Borrego said. “Thrilled for our organization.”
Murray is also a first-time All-Star. The 25-year-old is averaging career highs of 19.6 points, 9.2 assists, 8.4 rebounds and an NBA-leading 2.1 steals in 47 games. His 10 triple-doubles are the second most in the league and a single-season record for the Spurs.
Durant, a 12-time All-Star, will not play because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, which has sidelined him for the last 11 games. Green has a lower back injury that has kept him out of action the last 14 games. Green is a four-time All-Star selection.
Durant and LeBron James are the team captains for the game and will select their rosters on Thursday.
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