Having garnered support of being a snub for the 2018 NBA All-Star game, Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic will be headed to Los Angeles in a couple weeks.
Dragic, the Heat’s leader in points (17) and assists (4.8) per game, was named an injury replacement for Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love – who suffered a broken left hand.
“The Dragon” will play for Team LeBron during the February 18 game – earning the first NBA All-Star selection of his 10-year career.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced it Thursday, saying that Dragic was “next in line” – based on the number of voting points he received from NBA coaches among Eastern Conference players not already selected as a reserve or injury replacement.
The NBA said Dragic is the first Slovenian player to make an All-Star team.
Dragic’s snub wasn’t rooted in his individual numbers as much as it was a slight on Miami’s success this season. The Heat currently sit atop the Southeast Division and are fourth in the Eastern Conference – just a game and a half behind Cleveland.
Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said he’s glad Dragic – and the team – has received some recognition.
“Hopefully this shows that it’s a by-product of winning and being recognized for winning,” Spoelstra told the Associated Press. “Goran, we feel, is an All-Star. We’re just thrilled that he got recognized by the other coaches.”
Dragic is the eighth player to be selected to the All-Star Game as a member of the Heat, joining Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Anthony Mason, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James.