James Harden headlines the list of 2021 NBA All-Star Game reserves announced Tuesday, joining Brooklyn teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to mark the first time the Nets have had three All-Star picks.
Irving and Durant were previously named to begin with the 70th All-Star Game, which will be played on March 7 in the pandemic bubble in Atlanta, Georgia.
Durant will serve as captain of a select squad against Team LeBron James in the competition, where reserve players were selected by league coaches.
Harden, the NBA’s top scorer each of the last three seasons, was named an All-Star for the ninth year in a row and Chris Paul also received the nod, making him an All-Star 11th time.
The league will break with tradition due to the global pandemic and hold the game and skills events overnight instead of spreading the festivities over several days.
The NBA will start at the State Farm Arena with an afternoon skills competition followed by the three-point shooting competition. The Slan Dunk Contest will take place at half time.
In addition to Harden, reserves selected from Eastern Conference 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 the Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, the LA Clippers forward Paul George, the Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell, the Portland Trail Blazers forward Damian Lillard and the New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.
Brown, LaVine and Randle from the Eastern Conference and Williamson from the Western Conference are the first four election reserves.
Playlists will be decided via a draft on March 4. Durant and James each select 11 players to complete their lists.