Technically Rudy Gobert and Quin Snyder are the Utah Jazz’s All-Star winners.

After all, it was Team LeBron that walked away victorious with Snyder steering the ship and Gobert contributing 10 points in the 170-150 win over Team Durant, the team that included Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.

But in reality the Utah Jazz left the 2021 NBA All-Star Game all feeling like winners and beaming with joy.

For the first time in his 14-year career, Conley was an All-Star. He scored his first All-Star points on a 3-pointer off a transition pass from Mitchell, he nearly upset Stephen Curry in the 3-point contest, took part in some light-hearted trash talk with Gobert and Snyder and he could hardly stop smiling the whole time.

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It wasn’t until late in the third quarter that Conley scored his first All-Star points but when it happened he had done what he set out to do.

“He’s about 65 years old so you know, definitely took him a while to get used to it and get in a flow,” Mitchell said of Conley with a laugh. “I’m happy for him and we were so happy to be a part of that together.”

Conley didn’t care how it happened, he just wanted to get on the board and then sit back and enjoy the show.

“I got to the point where it was like I’m going to shoot every time I touch it until I get a bucket,” Conley said. “Once I got the bucket I was like I’m good man, you take me out...let the young guys run around and put on a show.”

“It was also really cool to see Mike Conley here.” — Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry

It ended up being Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, and Damian Lillard who put on the most riveting show with Antetokounmpo earning the All-Star MVP award after a perfect 16-of-16, 35-point performance while Curry and Lillard traded ridiculously deep 3-point buckets.

But in between all those plays the Jazz players found the time to thoroughly enjoy themselves. With Mitchell and Gobert both making their second consecutive All-Star appearances, and Conley not looking to do anything too crazy, they found ways to make their mark.

Each had their own highlight moments. Gobert had a handful of impressive dunks and battled for positioning on a mismatch with Mitchell, Conley tossed a perfect lob from way outside, Mitchell hit a deep trey at the third quarter buzzer, and Snyder for the most part just let the players do what they wanted, grateful to be surrounded by the best players in the world.

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game was much different than any of the games from years before. There was very little fanfare, a lack of promotional events and lavish parties, and all the All-Star festivities were crammed into a single night of action.

In any other year when All-Star break begins it feels like the NBA world descends on a city and there are stars, celebrities, and fans everywhere you look. But the players described this year’s event in Atlanta as more like the road trips from this season than anything else.

They spent most of their time in the hotel, isolated from the world, and when they walked through the hotel to go to the arena there weren’t crowds of people.

Despite the quiet and toned down nature of the usually chaotic event, it didn’t take away from how special it was, especially for Conley.

On Friday night Conley was eating dinner with his family in Columbus, Ohio, enjoying what he thought was going to be a quiet and uneventful All-Star break, when his phone started to ring incessantly.

He ignored the calls for quite a while, but then when someone from the Jazz called, Conley finally answered and the person on the other line told him that the league office was trying to get in contact with him.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley celebrate during the first half of basketball’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. | Brynn Anderson, Associated Press

He wasn’t even thinking it had anything to do with the All-Star Game, he was thinking maybe something to do with the Players Association.

“I call the number back and he’s like, ‘Hey Mike, I got some good news. There’s a spot available in the 3-point contest and All-Star Game,’” Conley said. “All I heard was 3-point contest, and I was like, ‘Yeah, for sure, I’d love to do that. Then I was like, ‘And an All-Star spot? He’s like ‘Yeah man, if you’re if you’re available.’ I was like, ‘(expletive), I’m doing nothing. I’m sitting here with my family. I’m on the first thing smoking (to Atlanta).”

Though Conley scored just a single field goal during the game, it came after he had already put on a wild performance in the 3-point contest and after all the festivities had concluded, the other players couldn’t help but he happy for the first-time All-Star.

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The list of people that were elated to have Conley named an All-Star is not short. Doc Rivers, the Eastern Conference All-Star coach, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, Curry, Snyder, Mitchell, Gobert and the list goes on.

“It was also really cool to see Mike Conley here,” Curry said after the All-Star Game. “I’ve forever called him, along with Jrue Holiday, one of the most underrated point guards in the league since he’s been in the league. He’s been consistently great but has never had the opportunity to be an All-Star until this year. And I don’t care about replacements and all that type of stuff. It’s a more than a well-deserved honor, so it was awesome to see him out here in year 14, like, that’s crazy.”

There are likely many more All-Star nods in the future for Mitchell and Gobert but this time around they were just happy and proud to be there when Conley shed the label of being the best player to never make an All-Star team.

Now, nobody can take away this label: NBA All-Star Mike Conley.