NBA All-Stars

NBA All-Star starters include newcomers Ja Morant, Andrew Wiggins

Reuters
NBA All-Star starters include newcomers Ja Morant, Andrew Wiggins

YOUNG GUNS. Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (center) drives to the basket as Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (left) defends in a recent match.

Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Ja Morant, the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year, and former top draft pick Andrew Wiggins earn their first All-Star nod

The 10 starters for February’s NBA All-Star Game were revealed Thursday night, January 27, and the list includes a pair of first-time All-Stars in Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant and Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins.

Morant and Wiggins were selected as starters from the Western Conference with LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), and Stephen Curry (Warriors).

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, and DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls were Eastern Conference players chosen to be starters.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for February 20 in Cleveland.

Durant and James were designated the teams’ captains because they led their respective conferences in fan votes. The 10 starters were chosen by a mixture of votes from fans (50%), fellow players (25%) and the media (25%).

A draft will be held February 10 to determine which players are on Team LeBron and which ones are on Team Durant.

The All-Star reserves will be announced on February 3.

Morant has become one of the game’s stars in his third NBA season. The 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year is averaging 24.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game for the surprising Grizzlies.

Wiggins, 26, earned his first All-Star nod in his eighth NBA season. The 2014 top draft pick is shooting 48.1% from the floor and 40.4% from three-point range, both career bests, through 44 games while averaging 18.1 points and 4.2 rebounds.

James is now tied with Kobe Bryant for the second-most career All-Star selections with 18. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has more, with 19. Curry will appear in his eighth All-Star game and Jokic earned his fourth bid.

In the East, it marks Durant’s 12th All-Star selection, the sixth for Antetokounmpo, the fifth for Embiid and DeRozan and the second for Young. – Rappler.com