Jarrett Allen gave a very honest response when asked about his reaction to learning that Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Donovan Mitchell was not named a starter for the upcoming 2024 NBA All-Star Game.
#Cavs Jarrett Allen when asked about how he reacted to Donovan Mitchell not being named an All-Star starter:
"Uhhhhhh, this is my live reaction. I didn't know it came out. I don't know who the starters are. I couldn't tell ya."
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) January 27, 2024
Though Allen may not have been aware, Mitchell’s omission was noticed by observers around the league and, of course, by the guard himself.
“When cleveland.com asked Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell about not being named a 2024 All-Star starter, he didn’t immediately respond,” wrote Chris Fedor.
“Mitchell savagely cackled for five straight seconds instead. His laughter spoke volumes.”
Mitchell then expressed some confidence that he will be added to the team as a reserve.
“I felt like I should have been named a starter,” Mitchell said. “I felt like with what we have done as a group, it should have been the case. But ultimately, it wasn’t. Sometimes you just have to go out there and do it every night and show it. Sometimes you get snubbed. Maybe I need to be a little louder with my stuff.
“You always want to be an All-Star starter. You always want to be at the top. But it won’t be that way this year. Gotta keep going. I think I will make it as a reserve.”
Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton and Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard were named the two starting backcourt players for the Eastern Conference as a result of voting by fans (50 percent), players (25 percent) and media (25 percent).
2024 East All-Star starters:
Giannis Antetokounmpo (captain)
Damian Lillard pic.twitter.com/gPec2te4qP
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2024
Mitchell also finished behind New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson in the weighted voting but is a very strong candidate to be named as a reserve. In each conference, there are reserve slots for two guards, three frontcourt players and two other players at any position. Those players will be announced on Thursday.
The 2024 NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the home of the Pacers.
Mitchell was an All-Star starter last season, his first with the Cavs, and scored 40 points in the game. During his time with the Utah Jazz, he earned three other All-Star nods.
This season, the 27-year-old is averaging 27.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game in 34 appearances. By comparison, Lillard, in his first season with the Bucks, is averaging 25.3 points, 6.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game in 42 appearances. Meanwhile, Haliburton is averaging 23.6 points, 12.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game in 34 appearances for the All-Star host Pacers.
Mitchell has helped the Cavaliers thrive despite the extended absences of starters Darius Garland and Evan Mobley because of injuries. Cleveland recently had an eight-game winning streak and has won nine of its past 10 after a 112-100 victory against Lillard and the Bucks on Friday. That gave the Cavs a split of two straight games played at Milwaukee.
They now have a 27-16 record that puts them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference entering NBA play on Saturday.