Embiid an All-Star starter after all as NBA names injury replacements


CAMDEN, N.J. — Turns out that Joel Embiid’s All-Star starter streak is not finished.

The NBA announced on Friday that Embiid is among the players who will slide into the starting lineup as a result of injuries. 

With Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Zion Williamson sidelined for the Feb. 19 game in Salt Lake City, Utah, commissioner Adam Silver named Anthony Edwards, Pascal Siakam and De’Aaron Fox as injury replacements. In addition to Embiid, Ja Morant and Lauri Markkanen were bumped up to starter status. 

Initially, Embiid came behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, Durant and Jayson Tatum in Eastern Conference frontcourt voting. Embiid, who’s averaged 33.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists, said he was “not surprised” to be passed over.

“I think it’s well-documented that I’m not well-liked, and that’s cool,” Embiid said on Jan. 28. “I don’t know if it’s because I troll a lot or that I’m, I guess, an asshole. But it’s cool. I’ll keep being me, I’ll keep being an asshole, and I’ll keep trolling. If people don’t like it, that’s their problem. … It all goes back to winning. When you look at how many times he was an All-Star, they’re not going to say, ‘He was a starter this many times.’

“Having been a starter the last five years, it is kind of disrespectful. I don’t think anybody has had a better year than me. But … just focus on the right things and everything is going to go well for you."

Speaking of “disrespectful,” Embiid is presumably among those who feel teammate James Harden deserved to replace Durant. After Harden missed out on an 11th consecutive All-Star selection, Embiid tweeted the NBA had “some explaining to do.”

Perhaps Harden will be next up if another injury replacement is required. Jaylen Brown suffered a facial fracture in the Celtics’ win Wednesday over the Sixers and is out indefinitely.

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