NBA All-Stars

NBA All-Star reserves revealed; Chris Paul earns 12th nod

Reuters
NBA All-Star reserves revealed; Chris Paul earns 12th nod

POWER PAIR. Phoenix Suns teammates Chris Paul (left) and Devin Booker headline the reserve picks.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The All-Star Draft is set for February 10, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant serving as captains

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul was selected to his 12th career NBA All-Star game, one of 14 players added to the game as reserves.

Paul has by far the most seniority of the group revealed Thursday, February3 (Friday, February 4, Manila time).

Among Western Conference players, he was joined by Suns teammate Devin Booker, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, Golden State Warriors defensive stopper Draymond Green, and Utah Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

Green has a back injury and won’t play, however. Commissioner Adam Silver will choose his replacement.

The seven reserves selected from the Eastern Conference are Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers), James Harden (Brooklyn Nets), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), and Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors).

The reserves were voted on by the head coaches of each conference.

The All-Star Draft is set for February 10, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant serving as captains after compiling the most votes during the balloting process.

They were named starters last week along with Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), and Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies).

The game will take place February 20 in Cleveland.

Paul, 36, is averaging 14.9 points, 10.4 assists, and 4.5 rebounds while making 48.9% of his shots for the Suns, who own the best record in the league and are vying to return to the NBA Finals.

It marks the first All-Star selection for Garland and VanVleet. In his third NBA season, Garland has guided the Cavaliers to a surprising start by averaging 19.8 points, 8.2 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. 

VanVleet, the fourth undrafted player to make an All-Star Game in NBA history, was averaging 21.5 points, 7.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds entering Thursday’s action.

NBA upgrades Kobe Bryant Trophy given to All-Star MVP

A newly designed NBA All-Star Game debut of The Kobe Bryant Trophy will be awarded to the All-Star Game MVP. The event will include multiple “reimagined” awards in a nod to the league’s 75th season.

Silver introduced The Kobe Bryant Trophy prior to the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago, shortly after Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash that also killed his daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. Bryant, an 18-time All-Star, won a record-tying four Kia All-Star Game MVP awards.

“The new Kobe Bryant Trophy further celebrates its namesake, with intricate details holding dual meanings, both for NBA All-Star and Bryant’s legendary career,” the NBA said Thursday in a statement.

Designed in partnership with artist Victor Solomon, the award is created with Bryant’s accomplishments in mind. Bryant spent his entire career (1996-2016) with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“For the past few years, the NBA and I have proudly and tirelessly worked to reconsider what a trophy is, has been and could be,” Solomon said.

“Redesigning the All-Star trophies gave us a special opportunity to create event awards worthy of the energy and excitement the moment creates, while introducing the full collection’s visual, aesthetic language,” he said. “The occasion also gave us the privilege and responsibility to develop an entirely new silhouette worthy of being named ‘The Kobe Bryant Trophy’ for the Kia NBA All-Star MVP for which, in the spirit of its namesake, we threw out all conventions and challenged ourselves to reorient how we thought about ‘the game.'”

Unique and intentional features recognize Bryant’s on-court accomplishments, including:

  • The eight-sided base represents the eight decades of NBA All-Star Games and is a nod to Bryant’s No. 8 jersey number. The 18 stars around the trophy represent his 18 All-Star selections. The base height of 2 inches is a nod to Bryant’s 2002 Kia NBA All-Star MVP.
  • Level 1 includes 24 stars, representing each All-Star in the game and Bryant’s No. 24 jersey number. The 7-inch height is a nod to Bryant’s 2007 Kia NBA All-Star MVP.
  • Level 2 has 10 stars to represent the All-Star Game starters and Bryant’s USA Basketball No. 10 jersey. The 9-inch height is a nod to Bryant’s 2009 Kia NBA All-Star MVP.
  • Level 3 has five stars for the unity of an NBA team and Bryant’s five NBA championships. The 11-inch height is a nod to his 2011 Kia NBA All-Star MVP.
  • Atop the trophy, a single star represents the star of stars and Bryant winning The Maurice Podoloff Trophy for the 2007-2008 Kia NBA MVP. The 2-inch height of the final star represents Bryant’s two Bill Russell Trophies as the NBA Finals MVP (2009-2010).

– Rappler.com

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