CHIGAGO – The Miami Heat will be without an All-Star for the first time in 13 years.
Neither center Hassan Whiteside nor guard Goran Dragic were named by the coaches as an Eastern Conference reserve, breaking a streak that dates back to 2005. Starting that season, the Heat have had multiple All-Stars every year except three.
The East added Indiana’s Paul George, Cleveland’s Kevin Love and Atlanta’s Paul Millsap to the frontcourt and guards Isaiah Thomas of Boston, Kyle Lowry of Toronto, John Wall of Washington and Kemba Walker of Charlotte.
The Eastern Conference starters are guards Kyrie Irving Cleveland and DeMar DeRozan of Toronto and frontcourt players Jimmy Butler of Chicago, LeBron James of Cleveland and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee.
The Western Conference reserves: Frontcourt players DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento, Marc Gasol of Memphis, Draymond Green of Golden State, Gordon Hayward of Utah and DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers and guards Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City and Klay Thompson of Golden State.
The West starters: guards Stephen Curry of Golden State and James Harden of Houston and frontcourt players Kevin Durant of Golden State, Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio and Anthony Davis of New Orleans.
The biggest reason for the Heat run is Dwyane Wade, who was named an All-Star 12 consecutive seasons in Miami, from 2004-05 to last season. But Wade, who is playing his first year in Chicago, had that streak snapped this year.
Chris Bosh had an 11-year All-Star game streak snapped that started in 2005-06 in Toronto and continued for the last six seasons with the Heat. Bosh has not played this season because of recurring blood clot issues and his Heat career is over.
Although Dragic has been the Heat’s best player this season, Whiteside was thought to be the Heat player with the best chance of being voted in as a reserve. He is averaging 16.9 points, 13.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks and led the league in rebounding for most of the season, falling out of that spot after recording a season-low one board during Miami’s comeback win at Brooklyn Wednesday, the Heat’s fifth consecutive win.
Whiteside signed a max four-year, $98 million contract last summer and is the 15th highest paid player this year with a salary of just more than $22.1 million. He finished 11th in the fan vote, 14th in the player vote and eighth in the media vote – the votes that determined the starters – among Eastern Conference frontcourt players.
When asked about falling out of the top 10 of the fan vote the second week it was revealed, Whiteside said it would be different if his numbers were put out there without a name attached.
“You put my numbers up and just don’t put a face up there I feel like the (voting) numbers would be different,” Whiteside said. “Just my honest opinion. I feel like if you put a blackout screen and just put my numbers up there people (would say), ‘Oh, man, how is he not an All-Star?’ I feel like that’s what it is. Who likes who.”
Dragic is one of the more most respected players in the league. The problem is the NBA is so deep at the guard position it was nearly impossible for the nine-year veteran to break through and be named an All-Star for the first time.
Dragic leads the Heat with 19.5 points and 6.3 assists. He has a team-high 60 three pointers. Dragic finished 17th in the fan vote, tied for 15th in the player vote, and did not receive a vote from the media among Eastern Conference guards.