End the debates, the news is officially official.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton is headed to his second consecutive NBA All-Star weekend. He was voted in as an eastern conference reserve.
Middleton joined the NBA on TNT pre-game show shortly after the announcement and was asked about achieving all-star status two seasons in-a-row.
“Being an all-star last year was a huge goal of mine,” he said. “You never want to take a step back.”
Despite missing seven games with a left thigh contusion earlier in the season, Middleton is averaging 20.2 points and nearly six rebounds and four assists per game.
He’s currently part of the elusive 50-40-90 club. Averaging a better than 50 percent completion percentage from the floor, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the free throw line.
“I’ve been counted out a lot in my career,” he said following a 51 point performance against the Washington Wizards on Monday night. “That’s what motivates me in a lot of ways. Everybody has their opinion on who should be an all-star and who not.
“There’s a lot of great players in this league.”
Never one to boast about himself, Middleton was answering a question about some analysts thinking he isn’t worthy of a spot on the all-star roster.
Although he’s technically representing the east, All-Star rosters are divvied up by a player draft. This year’s captains are LeBron James and Middleton’s running mate, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“I’d be pretty upset if my teammate didn’t pick me first,” Middleton said during the TNT interview. “We’re loyal guys over here, so I don’t expect anything different from Giannis right now.”
Antetokounmpo signed back in to his social media accounts, after deactivating them over the weekend, to voice his displeasure in the Bucks only having two all-star representatives.
How on earth are we about to have almost 50 wins before All Star and we don’t have 3 All Stars in the game???? @EBled2 is an All Star!
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) January 31, 2020
The NBA is changing the scoring format for the game this season, working in a charitable component and paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant in the fourth quarter.
The NBA announced today a new format for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game that makes the outcome of every quarter count for charity. The changes include a new fourth-quarter format that will honor the late Kobe Bryant.
— NBA (@NBA) January 30, 2020
The Bucks were quick to celebrate Middleton’s accomplishment via social media.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 31, 2020
Middleton showed out in last year’s game in Charlotte, scoring 20 points.