Simmons gains historic NBA All-Star nod

Anthony Davis may never suit up again for the Pelicans but he was selected to represent them as an All Star reserve. More

Anthony Davis may never suit up again for the Pelicans but he was selected to represent them as an All Star reserve. More

He was hit with a mix of emotions once the reality of being the first Australian to make an All-Star team began to sink in.

Simmons' dream became reality on Friday when he was selected as an Eastern Conference reserve for the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte on February 18.

According to Brendan Vogt of Denver Stiffs, Nikola Jokic is set be named an All-Star reserve for his first All-Star selection of his career.

From the Western Conference, the starter pool is made up of James, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and guard Stephen Curry, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George. Westbrook joins Paul George as Thunder representatives on the squad for the February 17 game in Charlotte.

Simmons was controversy overlooked for All-Star selection in his rookie season a year ago but his strong numbers in 2018-2019 meant he couldn't be denied.

Through 50 games, Jokic is averaging 20.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game, all three of which lead the Nuggets.

But despite a prolonged campaign by fans, some commentators - and even in Australia's federal Parliament - Simmons failed to crack the All-Star line-up.

It's an achievement finally broken through by the 22-year-old Simmons, whose Philadelphia team is now third in the Eastern Conference standings with a 33-18 record.

Joining Simmons as Eastern Conference reserves are: Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards) and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic).

With his ticket to Charlotte punched, Lillard now need only wait to find out if he's "draft" by LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo, who get to pick their teams thanks to be the top vote-getters from their respective conferences.

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