NBA 2015 All-Star Game starters announced, Clippers Blake Griffin to start

January 22, 2015

When your team has the league's best record and you can shoot the lights out from anywhere over half court, you tend to be popular, and Golden State Warriors' point guard Stephen Curry certainly fits that description, as he (1,513,324 votes) edged the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (1,470,483) to become the top overall vote-getter for the NBA's 2015 All-Star Game Balloting.

Curry, who started in last year’s NBA All-Star Game, is the first Warrior to be named a starter in back-to-back All-Star Games since Chris Mullin in 1991-92.  Curry this month became the fastest player in NBA history to hit 1,000 career three-pointers (369 games).

The Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin (700,615) also has been voted by the fans into the Western Conference starting lineup for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. It is Griffin’s fifth straight All-Star appearance and his fourth straight start.  Griffin scored 38 points in the 2014 All-Star Game, a franchise-record and third most points in All-Star Game history.

“It is a great honor to make the All-Star team,” Griffin said. “I want to thank all of the fans who voted for me as a starter. I am excited to represent the Clippers and Los Angeles in New York City next month.”

Griffin leads the Clippers with 23.0 points and is eighth in the NBA in scoring. He also averages 7.6 rebounds and a career-high 5.0 assists per game. He is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 23.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists this season.

Joining Griffin in the Western Conference starting lineup are Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) and Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies).

The Eastern Conference starters are John Wall (Washington Wizards), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls) and Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks).

Bryant (1,152,402) was named an All-Star for the 17th time, second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19). Bryant, who in December passed Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, is the all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history with 280 points.

However, Bryant's status is currently in limbo, as he sustained a tear to his rotator cuff last night.  Bryant already has been in and out of the team's lineup due to soreness and fatigue, and this recent injury setback could prevent him from participating in this year's game.

Kyle Lowry (805,290) of the Toronto Raptors rallied from a deficit of more than 100,000 votes at the last balloting update to overtake the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and join the Washington Wizards’ John Wall (886,368) in the starting backcourt for the Eastern Conference.

Wall, making his second straight All-Star appearance and first start, is the first Wizards starter since Gilbert Arenas in 2007. This is the first All-Star appearance for Lowry, who becomes the first Raptor to start since Chris Bosh in 2008. The East will have two first-time starters in the backcourt for the first time since Allen Iverson (Philadelphia) and Eddie Jones (Charlotte) in 2000.

James, the top vote-getter last season, will start his 11th All-Star Game in 12 seasons. He was followed in the overall voting by the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (1,369,911), who finished with the most votes among frontcourt players in the Western Conference.

At 21, Davis is the youngest starter in this year’s game, which features five first-time starters and 10 starters from 10 different teams.  It’s the second straight All-Star nod for Davis, who leads the NBA in blocks (2.95 bpg) and ranks among the top 10 in scoring (24.3 ppg), rebounding (10.4 rpg) and field goal percentage (56.3).

James, who this month became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 24,000 points, is joined in the East frontcourt by the Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol (974,177), an All-Star for the fifth time, and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (647,005), who earned his eighth All-Star nod. Anthony boasts the fourth-highest scoring average (21.1 points) in All-Star history and is the 10th player to earn four All-Star selections with two different teams (Denver, New York).

Gasol’s brother Marc of the Memphis Grizzlies was picked to start for the West, marking the first time in history two brothers will start an NBA All-Star Game. The Gasols are the first brothers to appear in the same All-Star Game since Tom and Dick Van Arsdale played in the 1970 and 1971 games.  This is the second selection for the Grizzlies’ Gasol, who is averaging a career-high 19.3 points, nearly five points above his previous best.

The 64th NBA All-Star Game will tip off Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The NBA’s 30 head coaches will select the reserves for the 2015 All-Star Game. They must vote for seven players within their conference: two guards, three front court players, and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team.  If a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game after the coaches choose the reserves, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement.

The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs are determined by the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 1. By virtue of their teams’ victories on Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks’ Mike Budenholzer and his staff will coach the East and Golden State’s Steve Kerr and his staff will lead the West.

The final returns of NBA All-Star Balloting 2015 are attached:

Western Conference                                  
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers                            
Stephen Curry, Golden State                    
Anthony Davis, New Orleans                    
Marc Gasol, Memphis                              
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers                          
Head coach: Steve Kerr, Golden State  

Eastern Conference
Carmelo Anthony, New York
Pau Gasol, Chicago
LeBron James, Cleveland
Kyle Lowry, Toronto
John Wall, Washington
Head coach: Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta


Eastern Conference

1. LeBron James (Cle) 1,470,483
2. Pau Gasol (Chi) 974,177
3. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 647,005
4. Marcin Gortat (Was) 570,005
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 542,006
6. Kevin Love (Cle) 386,208
7. Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 231,741
8. Joakim Noah (Chi) 203,718
9. Nikola Vucevic (Orl) 129,293
10. Paul Millsap (Atl) 121,938
11. Al Horford (Atl) 114,955
12. Al Jefferson (Cha) 110,980
13. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 106,820
14. Nikola Mirotic (Chi) 103,645
15. Andre Drummond (Det) 86,717

1. John Wall (Was) 886,368
2. Kyle Lowry (Tor) 805,290
3. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 789,839
4. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 535,873
5. Jimmy Butler (Chi) 455,756
6. Derrick Rose (Chi) 379,994
7. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 159,123
8. Jeff Teague (Atl) 83,900
9. Lou Williams (Tor) 82,135
10. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 55,014

Western Conference

1. Anthony Davis (NO) 1,369,911
2. Marc Gasol (Mem) 795,121
3. Blake Griffin (LAC) 700,615
4. Tim Duncan (SA) 546,817
5. Kevin Durant (OKC) 545,226
6. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 498,131
7. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 465,334
8. Dwight Howard (Hou) 348,275
9. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 292,557
10. Rudy Gay (Sac) 144,702
11. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 132,150
12. DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 117,816
13. Serge Ibaka (OKC) 107,223
14. Draymond Green (GS) 99,039
15. Tyson Chandler (Dal) 98,654

1. Stephen Curry (GS) 1,513,324
2. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,152,402
3. James Harden (Hou) 1,069,368
4. Chris Paul (LAC) 551,167
5. Damian Lillard (Por) 365,417
6. Klay Thompson (GS) 314,254
7. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 248,758
8. Rajon Rondo (Dal) 219,506
9. Jeremy Lin (LAL) 216,246
10. Mike Conley (Mem) 103,015

Rising Stars Challenge to use new format

Along with the All-Star Game, TNT will also air the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 13.

The Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2015 in New York City will feature a new format that pits first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against first- and second-year NBA players from around the world, the NBA announced.

The NBA’s annual showcase of premier first- and second-year players is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. TNT will televise the 21st Rising Stars Challenge at 9 p.m. ET as part of Turner Sports' 30th year of NBA All-Star coverage.

The league’s assistant coaches will select 10 U.S. players and 10 international players for the game, with one ballot for each of the NBA’s 30 teams. Both 10-man rosters will include four guards, four frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Each team will also feature a minimum of three first-year players and three second-year players among its 10 spots.

The head coaches for each team will be an assistant from the 2015 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star Game coaches will be determined by the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 1.

A record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories were on opening-night rosters for the 2014-15 season, more than double the amount from 2000-01 (45 international players) and nearly five times as many as in 1990-91 (21).

Canada boasts a league-high total of six international first- and second-year players, half of the record 12 Canadians in the NBA this season, including the No. 1 overall picks in each of the last two NBA Drafts. Australia has a combined four international first- and second-year players, half of the record eight Australians in the NBA this season.

By Staff of and news services

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