Damian Lillard strains groin, pulls out of All-Star Game, 3-point contest

Phoenix's Devin Booker to replace Damian Lillard on Team Le Bron	
				Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Damian Lillard was ruled out of the NBA All-Star game after sustaining a groin injury during Portland Trail Blazers' game against Memphis Grizzlies. Lillard will not play in the Sunday NBA All-Star game in Chicago or participate in the three-point challenge.

Booker, 23, becomes the first All-Star representative of the Suns since Steve Nash in 2011-12. Silver is the one that had to make the final call on any injury replacements to the All-Star Game rosters. According to the National Basketball Association, an injury replacement is usually done with a player from the same conference.

The popular Phoenix guard is averaging 26.3 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounbds this season.

Booker will play for Team LeBron, filling in for the injured Damian Lillard.

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Devin Booker is finally headed to his first NBA All-Star Game.

The starters for the NBA All-Star game are chosen through a combination of fan, player and coaches votes. Now it's an entertainment-, drama-, political-filled league, but we're a part of it now.

"I knew I pulled it, it made no sense to be out there for the last few minutes of the game and risk trying to play through it and making it worse", said Lillard, who was hurt with 3:22 to play in the fourth quarter.

Booker averages 5.5 Win Shares (WS), more than Russell Westbrook and Donovan Mitchell. Although it is his first appearance in the game, Booker has been part of All-Star festivities in each of his five seasons in the league. Shortly after the news broke, Morant shared his thoughts of the All Star replacement on twitter, writing, "I will prepare, & one day my time will come" along with a sleeping emoji and an hourglass.

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