For the first time ever, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the starters for NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans. NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon will tip off at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 25 before an exciting lineup of five Christmas Day matchups on ABC and ESPN.
Fans were first given the opportunity to vote for NBA All-Star starters during the 1974-75 season. This year, the league will extend the platform to include two other important constituents of the game – NBA players and NBA media. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a panel of basketball media will account for 25 percent each.
Players and media will be able to complete one full ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards from both the Eastern and Western Conference. Players may vote for their teammates or themselves.
Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight
Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto.
Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds in 28 minutes as Philadelphia lost 102-92. Asked after Friday’s game if he was OK with not playing Saturday night, Embiid replied, “Um I’m not OK with it but we have a plan in place and we have to follow it.”
Dennis Smith Jr. Out for Next Two Games With Knee Injury
Dennis Smith Jr. will miss at least two games due to swelling in the left knee that the Dallas Mavericks’ prized rookie point guard had surgically repaired two years ago.
Smith was a late scratch before Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings and will not travel with the Mavericks for Saturday’s road game against the Houston Rockets.
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN