At long last, the Warriors have an All-Star.
Forward David Lee became the franchise’s first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997 as the NBA unveiled the reserves for the Feb. 17 game in Houston.
Lee, 29, is averaging 19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and has been instrumental in Golden State’s surprising 26-15 record this season.
As welcomed as the news was about Lee, coach Mark Jackson and his team hoped for more. However, Stephen Curry wasn’t selected despite averaging 20.9 points. He’s the league’s eighth-leading scorer and the highest one who won’t be in Houston.
Lee called his selection “bittersweet” because Curry — the first person to send him a congratulatory text — wasn’t picked.
“In our practice facility, there’s that All-Star chart and it stops at ’97 and there hasn’t been any since. So the whole team was really excited with the improved record this year and to get one or both of our guys on there,” said Lee, who will be making his second All-Star appearance after playing in the game in 2010 as a member of the New York Knicks. “I’m really excited to be the one that goes and represents our team. I wish Steph could be a part of it and maybe he’ll still be able to. I’m just very, very excited. It’s been a long time for the Bay Area fans. Not only to have an All-Star, but to be winning games.”
Meanwhile, Tim Duncan was selected to his 14th All-Star game, Spurs teammate Tony Parker is joining him and the Chicago Bulls also had two reserves.
Joakim Noah and Luol Deng were picked from the Bulls, who have stayed in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race despite the season-long absence of point guard Derrick Rose. Noah is one of five first-time All-Stars for the East, along with New York’s Tyson Chandler, Indiana’s Paul George, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, and Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday. Miami’s Chris Bosh, picked for his eighth All-Star team, rounded out the East squad.
West forwards LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland) and Zach Randolph (Memphis) were picked for the second time.
Houston’s James Harden was chosen for the first time and joins former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook, headed to his third straight All-Star game.
The reserves were voted by the head coaches from each conference, who had to select two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. They were not allowed to vote for players from their own teams.