The NBA had the night off on Friday, as players, coaches, and other league personnel head to Atlanta for the All-Star Game, while the rest of the league enjoys some well-deserved time off from a season that has been in perpetual flux as it navigates the many challenges of the ongoing pandemic.
We were led to believe that the rosters for Sunday’s game had been set, but news emerged on Friday night that Mike Conley was reportedly set to replace Devin Booker in both the game itself and the three-point contest, as Booker recovers from a knee sprain. It was a feelgood moment for Conley and his fans, who have long heralded him as one of the league’s most underappreciated players.
Of course, Conley’s selection means that other arguably worthwhile players were once again overlooked, and if we are to read into a certain cryptic but well-timed tweet, it appears DeMar DeRozan isn’t too happy that the league didn’t peg him as Booker’s injury replacement.
Gets to a point where you just gotta laugh at the bullshit!!
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) March 6, 2021
Now, to be fair, he could be referring to anything. There’s a lot going on in the world. But again, the timing is convenient, and if you were to look at a side-by-side comparison, DeRozan has the edge over Conley in several key statistical categories. Conley, however, has other factors working in his favor.
He’s been instrumental to a Jazz team that currently holds the best record in the NBA, while the Spurs are clinging to the No. 7 seed, with just two games separating them from the 10th place Grizzlies. What’s more, the conversation around Conley of late has centered on how he’s been perpetually overlooked as an All-Star throughout his career.
After all, there are only so many slots available each year, and it’s inevitable that a whole slew of players will feel slighted. Conley should enjoy this honor, regardless of how it came about or who disagrees with it.