Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Knicks center Tyson Chandler and Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, the former St. Patrick High School star, were among five first-timers chosen as reserves for next month’s NBA All-Star Game in Houston.
Chandler was the second Knick chosen, along with Carmelo Anthony, who will start for the East.
Chandler is averaging a career-high 12.2 points with 11.0 rebounds and an NBA-best 67.4 field goal percentage for the Knicks, who won in Boston, 89-86, Thursday for the first time since November 2006.
No Nets were selected even though Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are all having strong seasons.
Tim Duncan was also selected to his 14th All-Star game, Spurs teammate Tony Parker is joining him, and the 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 Chandler, Indiana’s Paul George, Irving and Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday.
Miami’s Chris Bosh, picked for his eighth All-Star team, rounded out the East squad.
West forwards David Lee (Golden State), LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland) and Zach Randolph (Memphis) all 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.
Duncan wasn’t chosen last year for the first time in his career but has bounced back with a terrific season at age 36, averaging 17.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots, his best statistics since 2009-10.
The co-MVP of the 2000 All-Star game joined a group that includes Michael Jordan for fifth-most selections. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, both voted to start, and Shaquille O’Neal all were picked 15 times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the career leader as a 19-time All-Star.
The reserves were chosen 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.
Lee gave the Warriors their first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997, but coach Mark Jackson and his team hoped for more. However, Stephen Curry wasn’t selected despite averaging 20.9 points — the league’s eighth-leading scorer and the highest one who won’t be in Houston for the Feb. 17 showcase.
Voted as East starters by fan voting along with Anthony and Garnett were Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and Boston’s Rajon Rondo.
The West starters are Bryant and Dwight Howard of the Lakers, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, and Clippers’ Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
The Clippers were hoping for a third All-Star, but sixth man Jamal Crawford wasn’t picked.
(The AP contributed reporting; Photo: NBA.com)Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.