Ryan Smith, Utah Jazz honor Lauri Markkanen for NBA All-Star selection
Feb 6, 2023, 9:32 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 12:22 pm
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY — Ryan Smith and the Utah Jazz honored Lauri Markkanen for his first NBA All-Star selection during Utah’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Jazz hosted the Mavericks at Vivint Arena on Monday, Feb. 6.
Smith presented the Finnish forward with a special basketball at center court before posing for a photo along with the Jazz “Bear” mascot.
🌟 the All-Star moments continue 🌟
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 7, 2023
On Feb. 2, Markkanen was selected as a Western Conference reserve on the NBA All-Star roster.
He was one of seven reserves chosen in addition to the five starters for the West.
“I’m extremely happy to represent the Jazz here,” Markkanen said of earning the honor where he will play in front of the Utah crowd. “I’m looking forward to it.”
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Markkanen is only the second player from Finland to reach the NBA, joining former University of Utah star Hanno Möttölä, and the first to earn an All-Star nod.
“We grew up watching the All-Star game, too, even though it’s not the normal basketball game,” Markkanen said of his upbringing in Finland. “That was fun to see a lot of dunks and stuff like that it was a cool thing to watch — so I’m extremely happy to be part of it.”
Mavericks vs. Jazz
Dallas Short Bodies After Irving Trade
On Sunday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania announced that the Mavericks were trading guard Spencer Dinwiddie and forward Dorian Finney-Smith to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Irving and Markieff Morris.
Irving has 48 hours to report to Dallas and won’t be available when they face the Jazz on Monday night.
The Mavericks had already announced that superstar guard Luka Doncic would miss the game against the Jazz with a heel injury.
Dinwiddie torched the Jazz for 35 points on 11-23 shooting when the Mavericks were in town on Jan. 30, despite suffering a 108-100 loss.
Though shorthanded, Dallas will welcome forward Christian Wood back to the lineup after missing the last eight games with a thumb injury.
Guard Frank Ntilikina is questionable with a non-COVID illness.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) February 7, 2023
Jazz Look For Bounceback Win
The Jazz had one of their uglier performances in Friday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks shooting a sluggish 1-12 from the three-point line in the first quarter.
The Hawks built a 20-point lead in the second quarter and coasted to a stress-free 115-108 victory in Salt Lake City.
Rookie Walker Kessler had a rare down performance against Atlanta scoring two points and grabbing five rebounds in 17 minutes.
Kessler is averaging 13.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks in Jazz wins since entering the starting lineup in early January, and just 6.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in the losses.