The recent rash of injuries has forced several All-Stars out of the game, with Kevin Love (broken hand) being the most recent. In his stead, Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic will attend his first All-Star Game.
Dragic beat out other worthy candidates like Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and Charlotte’s Kemba Walker. Dragic has paced the injury-ravaged Heat this season, leading Erik Spoelstra’s group to a 29-22 record. Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Rodney McGruder have all missed significant time, with McGruder not having played at all this season due to injury.
A 10-year veteran, Dragic is averaging 17 PPG and nearly five assists and four rebounds for the fourth-place Heat. With the selection, Dragic also becomes the first player from Slovenia to ever be named to an All-Star Game.
Dragic will replace Love on Team LeBron when the 67th All-Star Game takes place on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles, Cal. The Miami point guard becomes the rare player to be named to his first All-Star Game after having spent 10-plus seasons in the league.
According to the NBA, Dragic garnered the most voting points from NBA head coaches for players who were not already selected to the game. When a player is injured, commissioner Adam Silver is responsible for appointing a replacement.
Dragic is also the eighth player in Miami Heat history to attend an All-Star Game. Keep it here on AXS.com for more NBA news and tickets to select games.