A number of the stars picked to the team for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game were unable to compete on Sunday night, with Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and James Harden all having to be replaced by players chosen by commissioner Adam Silver.
Chris Paul’s future was also in doubt heading into Sunday after he suffered a thumb injury earlier in the week, but he remained on the roster. A different All-Star from the West pulled out of the game just over two hours before the festivities began, as Donovan Mitchell stated he had an upper respiratory virus that was not COVID-related but would preclude him from playing.
Mitchell should be able to recover from his illness before the season begins later this week. Mitchell was a member of Team LeBron, which will now be down to 11 players, including Paul, who, given his thumb issue, is unlikely to play much. Beyond Mitchell and Paul, this presumably means we’ll see a lot of Darius Garland, Luka Doncic, and Fred VanVleet as Team LeBron’s bench guards.
If there’s a silver lining from a roster perspective, it’s that this year’s All-Star rosters were guard-heavy, so no one should be overextended in the exhibition.