MINNEAPOLIS - The NBA on Thursday night announced its 14 reserves for the upcoming All-Star Game, and Minnesota Timberwolves’ star guard Anthony Edwards was left off the list.
The Western Conference reserve players are Paul George, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jaren Jackson Jr. Damian Lillard, Lauri Markkanen, Ja Morant and Domnantas Sabonis. The NBA made the announcements on national television, and Edwards said at shoot-around Friday morning he didn’t even watch.
"I knew I wasn’t going. I was more surprised De’Aaron Fox didn’t get in. I mean I’m just never the one that’s selected for things like that, I feel like. I’ve got to go above and beyond. I will next year, so I ain’t trippin," Edwards said as the Timberwolves host the Orlando Magic Friday night.
Edwards may feel that he doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star, but his statistics show otherwise. He’s the Timberwolves’ leading scorer at 24.9 points per game. In a season where Karl-Anthony Towns has been out more than two months and Rudy Gobert has been in and out of the lineup, Edwards has started all 54 games.
In 21 games before Towns injured his right calf, Edwards averaged 22.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. In the 33 game without Towns, Edwards is averaging 26.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He’s become a key leader for the Timberwolves.
"I don’t never miss games, I want to play every game. I just love playing basketball, so any time I can go out there and play, it’s great," Edwards said.
"It shows how tough he is and how much the game means to him. He goes out there and puts his all into the game. You can see it, I’m pretty sure y’all see it as well. It’s tough for him to be in this situation with the All-Star Game, for him to go out there every night and prove that he belongs, that’s tough," said forward Naz Reid, who had 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in Wednesay's win over the Warriors. "That’s something that we all carry with him, that mental toughness and that fortitude to just go out there and put everything on the floor."
So was he snubbed? Doesn’t he deserve to go?
"I didn’t think nothing about it. I’m just happy for the guys that got in," Edwards said. "I don’t really care, it don’t really bother me."
Edwards’ chances of going to his first All-Star game aren’t completely out the window. If a player gets hurt or declines to go to the game, he could still be selected.
He’s the biggest reason the Timberwolves are 28-26 and sixth in the Western Conference.
"I appreciate it, but I started the season off bad. I can't control it. As long as we go to the playoffs, I'm good."