Harden gets nod as a reserve for 70th NBA All-Star showcase

Los Angeles (AFP) –


James Harden headlined the list of 2021 NBA All-Star Game reserves announced on Tuesday, joining Brooklyn teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to mark the first time the Nets have had three All-Star selections.

Irving and Durant were previously named starters for the 70th All-Star Game, to be played March 7 inside the pandemic bubble in Atlanta, Georgia.

Durant will serve as captain of one select squad against Team LeBron James in the contest, where reserve players were selected by league coaches.

Harden, the NBA's top scorer each of the past three seasons, was named an All-Star for the ninth straight year and Chris Paul also got the nod, making him an 11-time All-Star.

The league will break from tradition because of the global pandemic and hold the game and skills events on one night instead of spreading the festivities over several days.

The NBA will launch the at State Farm Arena with an afternoon skills competition followed by the three-point shooting contest. The Slan Dunk Contest will take place at halftime.

In addition to Harden, reserves selected from the Eastern Conference were Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown and forward Jayson Tatum, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic.

Joining Paul as reserves from the Western Conference are Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, LA Clippers forward Paul George, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.

Brown, LaVine and Randle from the Eastern Conference and Williamson from the Western Conference make up the four first-time reserve selections.

Game rosters will be determined via a draft on March 4. Durant and James will each choose 11 players to complete their rosters.