Kyrie Irving Named 2017 NBA All-Star Starter


All star

CLEVELAND – The NBA announced tonight that Cleveland Cavaliers players Kyrie Irving and LeBron James have been selected as starters for the Eastern Conference in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. This will be the first time the Cavs will have multiple starters in the event and the eighth time at least two Cavs players have been selected to an All-Star roster (1972, 1989, 1992, 1993, 2005, 2009 and 2015).

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10 starters for the 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. All current NBA players and a panel of basketball media accounted for 25 percent each, with each participant completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from both conferences. James (1,893,751) and Irving (1,696,769) both led their respective position groups in Eastern Conference fan voting.

James was the top overall vote-getter in the conference among all three voting groups and had the most fan votes in the NBA. His 2017 All-Star appearance will mark the 13th consecutive (all starts) for the two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP (2006 and 2008). He is set to become the fifth player in league history to start at least 13 All-Star Games, joining Kobe Bryant (18), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14), Bob Cousy (13) and Michael Jordan (13). In his previous 12 All-Star appearances, James has averaged 24.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.3 minutes while shooting .513 (119-232) from the floor. Among all-time leaders in All-Star Game history, he ranks first in points scored (291), first in three-pointers made (28), tied for first in field goals made (119), third in scoring average (24.2), sixth in assists (75) and tied for 12th in steals (17). This season, the reigning NBA Finals MVP has appeared in 37 games (all starts) for Cleveland, averaging 25.6 points (ninth in NBA) on .512 shooting from the field (21st in NBA), 7.8 rebounds and 8.1 assists (fifth in NBA) in 37.0 minutes. He also has 16 double-doubles (tied-16th in NBA) and three triple-doubles, while earning the Kia Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for October/November and Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors on three occasions (weeks ending October 30, November 6 and December 11).

This marks Irving’s fourth All-Star selection (2013, 2014 and 2015) and second as a starter (2014). In his three All-Star outings, he has averaged 19.0 points on .649 (24-37) shooting from the field, a .444 (8-18) mark from beyond the arc, 4.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 25.9 minutes. In addition to earning MVP honors in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, Irving won the 2013 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend in Houston and was named MVP of the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend in Orlando. In 2016-17, he has topped 20 points in 28 of his 35 appearances and is averaging a career-high 23.6 points (14th in NBA) on .461 shooting from the field, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists (23rd in NBA) in 34.8 minutes. The 6-3 guard is also shooting .405 from beyond the arc (25th in NBA) and a career-best .895 from the foul line (ninth in NBA). With 2.7 turnovers per game, Irving is one of only four NBA players averaging at least 20.0 points, 5.0 assists and less than 3.0 turnovers this season (Kemba Walker, Isaiah Thomas and Damian Lillard).

Starters were announced live on TNT tonight during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by The Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, will be announced on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 26. The Cavaliers currently lead the Eastern Conference with a 29-11 record this season, which includes an 18-3 mark at Quicken Loans Arena.

NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. The 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Smoothie King Center, will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 15th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 32nd year of NBA All-Star coverage. Smoothie King Center will also host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18. The NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and NBA Development League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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