Simmons snubbed as All-Star picks drop
BASKETBALL: Ben Simmons' standout rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers has not been rewarded by NBA All-Star selection.
The 21-year-old Australian was overlooked for an Eastern Conference reserve slot, as coaches preferred Washington duo John Wall and Bradley Beal and Indiana guard Victor Oladipo.
Oklahoma City Thunder duo Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were among the most high-profile omissions.
The NBA will officially announce the final 14 players who will make the February 18 All-Star game in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Simmons missed out despite a huge fan vote. NBA coaches chose the 14 players that will come off the bench.
The Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving, Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan, the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers teammate Joel Embiid were last week named starters.
The Western starters are Steph Curry (Golden State), James Harden (Houston), Kevin Durant (Golden State) and New Orleans duo Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
The starters were selected by a combination of votes from fans (50 per cent), NBA players (25 per cent) and media members (25 per cent).
Irving was the runaway fan vote leader among Eastern conference guards with 2,170,833, DeRozan had 998,999 and Simmons came in third with 669,397.
The players and media rated Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Washington duo John Wall and Bradley Beal higher as guards than Simmons.
History was against Simmons, with many in the NBA believing rookies need to prove themselves for more than one season before becoming an All-Star.
Simmons would have been the first Australian All-Star. The last time a rookie was selected was Blake Griffin in 2011.