NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has selected Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis to replace injured Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, which will be held on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.Sabonis has been selected to his second NBA All-Star team in a row. In 30 games this season, he’s scoring 21.5 points, 11.7 rebounds (fifth in the NBA), and 5.7 assists, all career highs. Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets and Julius Randle of the New York Knicks joined the NBA All-Stars as the only players to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. Sabonis, Lithuania’s five-year NBA veteran, ranks second in the league in double-doubles with 24 and has posted three triple-doubles.
Due to a left hamstring injury that has forced him out of the last six weeks, Durant will not feature in the NBA All-Star Game. In 19 games, he has averaged 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. Durant, his 11th All-Star pick, was named an NBA All-Star Game starter and team leader.According to the rules of the NBA, if a player chosen for the All-Star Game is unable to attend, the Commissioner shall pick a substitute from the same conference as the substitute player. For Eastern Conference teams, Durant and Sabonis all play.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who was chosen as an All-Star backup, will replace Durant in the starting pool for the NBA All-Star Draft. According to NBA rules, in the starting pool for the NBA All-Star Draft, an injured All-Star Game starter is replaced by the All-Star Backup from the same conference and from the same position category that earned the highest rating in the All-Star starter voting. Tatum will be picked in the first round of the NBA All-Star Draft with the starters, while Sabonis will be selected in the second round with the backups. TNT will stream the NBA All-Star Draft on Thursday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET.
The 70th NBA All-Star Game is part of the one-night NBA All-Star 2021, which is set for March 7. The coverage of TNT’s NBA All-Star will begin at 5 p.m. ET with CarMax hosting TNT NBA Tip-Off, followed by the Taco Bell® Skills Competition and the MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. Coverage of the NBA All-Star Game will commence at 8 p.m. ET, with AT&T Slam Dunk taking place at half time.