The NBA's annual All-Star selections are all but guaranteed to cause controversy, but it's rare for the likes of LeBron James to weigh in on them.
But that's exactly what 'King James' did after the final All-Star teams were released on Wednesday, after the reserve selections based on coaches and media votes were announced.
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Australian star Ben Simmons will make his second All-Star appearance, while the likes of Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown and New Orleans' Zion Williamson will participate in the game for the first time.
However it was the exclusion of Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker that captured the attention of James, who lashed out at the move to overlook the 24-year-old.
"Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that," James posted on Twitter soon after the final teams were announced.
The Western Conference All-Star team will start the likes of James, Dallas' Luka Doncic, Denver's Nikola Jokic, Golden State's Steph Curry and the LA Clippers' Kawhi Leonard.
The West's deep roster of reserves made it a hard ask for Booker to beat out the likes of Portland's Damian Lillard and the Lakers' Anthony Davis - but even so, multiple other NBA stars were furious at Booker's snub.
Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 24, 2021
Damn @DevinBook really didn’t make it ? That’s craxy . Bruh really cold too smh. Sick world
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) February 24, 2021
How the Hell is @DevinBook not an ALL STAR?!!!!
Come on bruh!!!!! Stop with the politics!!! We all see it!!!!
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 24, 2021
Chris Paul on @NBAonTNT said this is probably the most bittersweet All-Star selection of his career because Devin Booker didn't make it with him. Said Book is an All-Star and the Suns go as Book goes.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) February 24, 2021
Ben Simmons now a three-time NBA All-Star
Ben Simmons' elite skills at both ends of the court have been rewarded with the Australian ace selected for the NBA All-Star game for a third successive year.
The Philadelphia 76ers guard is among 14 players selected by the NBA's head coaches as reserves for the showpiece game in Atlanta on March 7.
Simmons, who made a slow start to the season as the Sixers found their feet with Doc Rivers coming in as their new coach and two new starters, is averaging 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.9 assists for the east's top team.
In his past four games he is averaging 27.8 points, which includes a career-best 42-point haul, while his defence has many touting him one of the game's elite two-way players.
"I'm very grateful to be in this position and be able to say I'm a three-time All-Star in the best league in the world," Simmons said.
"I think defensively I've stepped it up... And offensively just trying to be the point guard and run the team, staying aggressive and keeping my guys locked in."
Simmons is on the eastern conference list that includes James Harden, Julius Randle, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.
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