Fans brush Simmons as All-Star starter

Record-breaking Australian star Ben Simmons has controversially missed out on an All-Star starting position, fuelling further credence to the All-Stars being a popularity contest over selecting in-form players.

Only days after Simmons dropped the most points by an Australian in the NBA with 42, the Melbourne-born guard was brushed as an Eastern Conference starter.

Instead, East captain Kevin Durant was joined by Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal (Washington), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia).

Ben Simmons has been on fire this season, but he couldn’t attract enough fan votes to earn an All-Star NBA starting position. Picture: Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP

The fan vote accounts for 50 per cent of the total vote to determine the starters for the NBA All-Star game. Current players and media members split the other 50 per cent.

Despite Simmons’ strong season at both ends of the floor, the two-time All-Star (selected as a reserve both times) finished 11th in fan voting for back-court players in the East.

He received more support from his peers and the media, finishing sixth and seventh respectively in voting.

Simmons will have a chance to make his third All-Star appearance when the All-Star reserves are announced on February 23.

Reserves are chosen by NBA head coaches, and league commissioner Adam Silver chooses injury replacements if necessary.

All-Star captains will then draft their teams on March 4 from the eligible pool of players (starters in the first round, reserves in the second round).

Australian star Joe Ingles was always going to struggle to be an NBA All-Star starter, but it won’t dampen his brilliant season to date for the league-leading Utah Jazz. Photo: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

They are not required to draft based on conference affiliation or position.

In the Western Conference, in-form Australians Joe Ingles and Patty Mills also missed out on starting positions.

In fairness, Ingles and particularly Mills faced an uphill battle with most fans always going to give more votes to the likes of LeBron James and Steph Curry.

Ingles was ranked 22 in Western Conference front-court players by the fans, but he did receive four votes from his fellow players in a testament to his impressive form.

The Western Conference starters were James (captain), Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Kawhi Leonard.

The NBA All-Stars game will be played in Atlanta on March 7 with the traditional skills challenge, three-point contest and slam dunk contest.

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