Damian Lillard on Devin Booker Snub: 'That's out of Control ... That's Crazy'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, posts up against Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said Tuesday he couldn't believe Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker didn't join him as a member of the Western Conference All-Star team.

Lillard told reporters the fans and coaches who vote for the All-Star rosters got the selections mostly right, but Booker stood out as a notable omission:

"You saw a lot of guys make it for the first time. You saw a lot of guys that I've seen there over the years. It was disappointing not to see Devin Booker on there. They've had a great season—obviously they blew us out last night—but they've been an up-and-down team over the years, and this year they've taken off with Chris Paul. Obviously, Chris Paul is who he is, but I definitely think Devin Booker should have had a spot on that roster. To me, that's out of control. Come on, that's crazy."

Booker is averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 threes while shooting 50.1 percent from the field, including 38.1 percent from beyond the arc, in 26 appearances this season.

The 24-year-old University of Kentucky product also received some high-profile support from the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James after being left off the All-Star roster:

LeBron James @KingJames

Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that.

Booker made the 2020 All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Lillard, and he could end up in Atlanta this year the same way.

The Lakers' Anthony Davis, who was chosen as a reserve, is sidelined by calf and Achilles injuries expected to keep him out until around mid-March. It makes him unlikely to play in the midseason showcase.

Booker will be one of the top contenders for that spot should it become available, but he's not alone given the wealth of elite talent in the West.

The New Orleans Pelicans' Brandon Ingram, Utah Jazz's Mike Conley and San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan are just a few of the players who could have made a strong case for an All-Star bid. But there are only so many roster spots available.

James and Kevin Durant, the team captains, will select their rosters March 4. The game will take place March 7 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.