Clippers’ Tobias Harris among snubs as NBA names All-Star reserves

Clippers forward Tobias Harris is averaging career highs of 21.2 points and 7.9 rebounds.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The 13th man, the least important player on the bench for every NBA game, the last man to dress, was the most important man on Doc Rivers’ mind Thursday night.

“The whole All-Star thing, a lot of times, I don’t know, I could care less,” Rivers said.

But for one game, the 13th man doesn’t dress in uniform. No, at the All-Star game, the 13th man on the team is, simply, not an All-Star.

“I think it should be at least 13 [players], and the reason I say that is because we dress 13,” Rivers said. “Thirteen uniforms are worn every game, this entire NBA season, except for the All-Star Game.”


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He’s biased, of course, because his man — forward Tobias Harris — ended up being a 13th man.

Reserves for the 2019 All-Star game were announced Thursday with no Clippers or Lakers joining LeBron James in Charlotte, N.C. on Feb. 17.

James and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the captains of the All-Star teams, with them choosing their players in a televised draft next Thursday.

While neither will be able to choose someone from L.A., some players with ties to the city are options.

Ex-Clipper forward Blake Griffin will represent the Detroit Pistons for the first time, his sixth trip to the game overall. Former USC star Nikola Vucevic also earned a spot among the Eastern reserves.

Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, a two-time All-Star Game MVP, and New Orleans’ center Anthony Davis lead the group of seven reserves out West.

Indiana guard Victor Oladipo, who is out for the season, was selected and will need to be replaced.

Harris is having a career season, averaging 21.2 points and 7.9 rebounds with career-high shooting percentages from the field and three-point range.

“I’m just being very honest. This one, I really wanted Tobias to make it,” Rivers said. “I thought he deserved to make it. With our record and what we‘ve done with him and his improvement, I thought it was really important that he would make it.”

Dallas rookie Luka Doncic and Utah center Rudy Gobert were among the other snubs in the Western Conference. Brooklyn guard (and former Laker) D’Angelo Russell and Philadelphia guard Jimmy Butler had strong candidacies in the East and didn’t make the team.

Western Conference All-Stars

Starters (top vote-getters)

Three frontcourt | two backcourt

P Player, Team

F LeBron James, Lakers

F Paul George, Oklahoma City

F Kevin Durant, Golden State

G Stephen Curry, Golden State

G James Harden, Houston

Reserves (selected by coaches)

P Player, Team

G Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

F Anthony Davis, New Orleans

C Nikola Jokic, Denver

G Damian Lillard, Portland

G Klay Thompson, Golden State

F LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio

C Karl Anthony-Towns, Minnesota

Eastern Conference All-Stars

Starters (top vote-getters)

Three frontcourt | two backcourt

P Player, Team

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee

F Kawhi Leonard, Toronto

C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia

G Kemba Walker, Charlotte

G Kyrie Irving, Boston

Reserves (selected by coaches)

P Player, Team

G Kyle Lowry, Toronto

G Victor Oladipo, Indiana

F Blake Griffin, Detroit

F Khris Middleton, Milwaukee

G Ben Simmons, Philadelphia

G Bradley Beal, Washington

C Nikola Vucevic,Orlando

Twitter: @DanWoikeSports