Mike Conley was deservedly bummed about not getting to join Quin Snyder, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell at the All-Star Game after being passed over not once, but twice, when Phoenix guard Devin Booker was selected as the replacement for the injured Anthony Davis.
LeBron James was perceived to have helped Booker land the replacement spot when he tweeted Tuesday that the Suns guard’s initial omission made him “the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that.”
One of LeBron’s Lakers teammates, though, made the case for Mike instead, right after the Jazz got through throttling L.A.
It’s probably not hard to guess which one.
“It’s always tough — being with him when he deserved to be an All-Star in Memphis many years, and he’s always kind of been deserving but not making it; I think this year, it’s a little bit tougher because they have the best record in the league,” said Marc Gasol, his longtime teammate with the Grizzlies. “The way he’s been playing and the way he impacts the game on both ends of the floor, I think Utah could have two of the guys [and] he could have been [one of them], or being the third guy, because he’s just as impactful as anybody else on that team.
“But it s----. It’s the way it is. He’s dealt with it before,” Gasol added. “Just happy to see him healthy, happy to see him happy, and happy to see him winning.”
Mike Conley … long-term Jazz player?
Tony Jones of The Athletic just wrote a pretty breathtaking piece about Mike. It’s full of incredible anecdotes about the work he put in this offseason, with old Ohio State buddy Greg Oden simulating Rudy Gobert in workouts; about Mike’s dad/agent calling up Dennis Lindsey to thank him not only for trading for Mike, but for sticking with him through last year’s struggles; about Mike doubting himself for the first time in a long time, and his ex-Grizzlies teammates texting him to remind him that he was still an incredible player.
Perhaps the most noteworthy item to Jazz fans, though, is a bit of forward-looking info: Mike is very much wanting to remain with the team after his contract is up at the end of this season.
“Utah’s got me,” Conley told The Athletic. “I was talking about this to my wife recently. We love it here. I don’t think I can go anywhere else that plays the way we play. We’ll see this offseason, because when that time comes there will definitely be a lot of chatter. But, from where I sit right now, this team is so unique, in the way we play. And everyone has bought into what we want to do on both ends of the floor.”
Gonna be intriguing to see how this plays out and what the team’s appetite is for going deeper into the luxury tax vs. simply moving on.
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