CLEVELAND — Cleveland Cavaliers Jarrett Allen is looking forward to making his first NBA All-Star Saturday Night appearance at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Saturday after he was snubbed, not once, not twice but three times by the league.
Allen said it’s still surreal that he was named an All-Star. This weekend has been one he will never forget.
“I don't think it hit me until I got back to my hotel about, you know, I was finally named an All-Star, and so far this week has been amazing. It's been a lot of running around, a lot of meeting new people, new faces. But honestly, it's been one of a kind of weekend that I wouldn't trade for anything,” he said.
This season, Allen is averaging 16.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.35 blocks per game, ranking second in the league in field goal percentage at 66.5% and tied for sixth in the league for double-doubles with 30.
But despite having a clear All-Star caliber season, it wasn't an easy path for Allen to make the roster.
Allen was not selected as a starter or a reserve, and then was passed over by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for the first injury replacement. It wasn't until James Harden opted out of the All-Star Game with a hamstring injury that Allen was finally named an All-Star—but he deserved it every step of the way.
His teammates, including Kevin Love, were very vocal about how much Allen deserved the honors.
“He’s an All-Star, there's no doubt in my mind," teammate Kevin Love said after Allen was snubbed in the reserve announcements. "For JA, I was definitely gutted because I thought he was more than deserving.”
But after getting selected, Allen is more than grateful and Love, specifically, had some advice for the first-time All-Star.
"He told me to just go out and enjoy it, he told me 'you're going to get in somehow so just make the most of it, and there's going to be a lot thrown at you this weekend so just try and enjoy every single little thing,'" Allen said.
Now, Allen's letting himself do just that.
"I'm part of the top 24 players in the NBA at this All-Star Weekend, so I'm just excited, I'm ready to take it all in and just enjoy every moment.
He and Darius Garland will join rookie Evan Mobley in the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday night.
Allen will join Garland on Team LeBron in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse at 8 p.m.
RELATED: The league finally got it right — Jarrett Allen is officially an NBA All-Star
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