NBA All-Star Reserves Announced, Kyrie Irving Remains Only Celtic Represented
Boston, MA - The NBA announced the full All-Star rosters last night, after announcing the starters from the Eastern and Western Conferences a week ago and Kyrie Irving remains the only Boston Celtic named to the pool of players who will be picked by the team captains of the All-Star Game (shaking up the East versus West format as of a year ago), LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Last week, Irving was named as a starter for the sixth time in his career, which makes him the player with the most All-Star experiences from the Eastern Conference, tied with Blake Griffin (of the Detroit Pistons) at six. (Many players from the West top Irving's count, though, namely James who will play in his fifteenth All-Star Game.)
Rounding out the Eastern Conference crop of players, including Irving, Griffin, and Antetokoumpo, are Charlotte's Kemba Walker, Toronto's Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Indiana's Victor Oladipo, Milwaukee's Khris Middleton, Washington's Bradley Beal, and Orlando's Nikola Vucevic.
Now, there will likely be opportunities for different Eastern Conference players to slot into the pool of players (most prominently, Oladipo is likely out for the season), but it seems unlikely that any Celtics will fill that void. Al Horford might be the closest candidate, but even then, there are more viable candidates, including Philadelphia's Jimmy Butler, whom many considered a snub. Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, and Marcus Smart are orbiting the conversation, but have nothing more than a zero percent chance of being named to the roster, especially Hayward. Jayson Tatum, on the other hand, has been tapped to play in the Rising Stars Game, which features NBA rookies and sophomores.
Irving is more than deserving to round out Boston's crop of All-Stars from the past season, which includes Bruin David Pastranak, Patriots Tom Brady and Stephon Gilmore, and Red Sox Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, and Mitch Moreland. Irving is averaging 23.7 points per game, 6.9 assists per game, and 4.8 rebounds per game. The first two statistics lead the Celtics and his points per game number is fourteenth in the league. Congratulations are definitely due to Kyrie Irving!