First Time All-Stars Fill Out NBA All-Star Rosters

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nba_g_westbrook-irving-harden_576The reserves for the NBA All-Star team were announced on Thursday night (1/24) and it was filled with plenty of new faces to the mid-season classic. James Harden, traded from Oklahoma City before the season, makes his first appearance as a member of the hometown Houston Rockets. New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler and Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah are first time All-Stars as well.

Kyrie Irving, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Jrue Holiday were rewarded for outstanding individual seasons even though their teams are well below .500. Irving is the Cavaliers’ first All-Star since James, the only other East player averaging at least 20 points and five assists. “It’s one of the best days of my life,” Irving said Thursday night, shortly after also being honored as Cleveland’s professional athlete of the year award at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. “It’s a big deal for me and it’s a big deal for the city of Cleveland to be picked as an All-Star for the first time. I’m turning 21 on March 23 and to be with those guys, to see those names on TV, that was truly a blessing.”

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The 22-year-old Holiday, the youngest All-Star in franchise history, is averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 assists but feared the 76ers’ 17-25 mark would work against him. “I thought so. I definitely thought so. I think anybody else probably would, too,” he said while watching a Philadelphia Flyers game. “We’re not getting on a winning streak or anything like that. I just tried to stay positive and not talk about it.”

There was a time when veteran power forward Zach Randolph symbolized everything wrong with the NBA as part of the infamous Portland “jailblazers” of the early 2000s, but he has turned his career around in Memphis with inspired play earning his 2nd All-Star selection. “It is truly an honor to be named by the NBA’s coaches to the 2013 Western Conference All-Star team,” he said in a statement. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to playing with the best players in the world.”

Tim Duncan returned to the Western roster after missing the cut for the first time in his career last season. Ofcourse with every All-Star team there are snubs. A case could have been made for Golden State guard Stephen Curry and Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez. At any rate check out the East and West All-Stars below:

Eastern Conference

Starter Appearance

LeBron James, F, MIA 9th

Carmelo Anthony, F, NYK 6th

Dwyane Wade, G, MIA 9th

Rajon Rondo, G, BOS 4th

Kevin Garnett, F, BOS 15th

Reserve Appearance

Kyrie Irving, G, CLE 1st

Jrue Holiday, G, PHI 1st

Tyson Chandler, C, NYK 1st

Joakim Noah, C, CHI 1st

Luol Deng, F, CHI 2nd

Paul George, F, IND 1st

Chris Bosh, F, MIA 8th

Western Conference

Starter Appearance

Kobe Bryant, G, LAL 15th

Kevin Durant, F, OKC 4th

Chris Paul, G, LAC 6th

Dwight Howard, C, LAL 7th

Blake Griffin, F, LAC 3rd

Reserve Appearance

R. Westbrook, G, OKC 3rd

James Harden, G, HOU 1st

Tim Duncan, C, SAS 14th

Tony Parker, G, SAS 5th

L. Aldridge, F, POR 2nd

David Lee, F, GS 2nd

Zach Randolph, F MEM 2nd

The NBA All-Star Game will take place in Houston on February 17th.

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