History was messing around the league the past few days and that includes writing new story lines in time for the NBA All-Star starters announcement Friday.
Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry broke into the books by making a late push in the polls, surpassing LeBron James as 2015’s leading vote-getter for the annual showcase. Meanwhile, brothers Pau and Marc Gasol became the first siblings to start in an All-Star game.
“This means a lot; it’s something that I don’t take for granted,” Curry said in a statement. “To have support of fans not only in the Bay Area but across the nation and across the world, supporting not only myself but our team, it means a lot. I want to represent the Warriors the best way I know how, every single game, and will do that proudly in New York thanks to the fans and their votes. Something that’s definitely a dream come true, and to be two times in a row, I’m proud of that.”
Curry’s numbers tell it all: 22.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.1 assists, 2.1 steals and a trio of downtown makes per make is a ridiculous line. The fact that he’s shooting almost 50% from the floor and over 90% from the line makes it all the more impressive. The Davidson product is also the league-leader for net rating with 19.7.
The son of long-time NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry wound up 1.5 million votes ahead of “King” James who previously had a 13,000+ vote lead on the last ballot returns. He is the first Warrior in 24 years to have started consecutive All-Star games after Chris Mullin did it in 1991 and 1992.
In the other history-making scenario, the Gasol brothers are set to start in both lineups at the Madison Square Garden in February 15. Pau, with averages of 18.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.1 blocks, locked in one of the three frontcourt spots in the East while Marc ( 19.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.7 BPG) clinch another berth out West.
“It’s incredibly special,” said the elder Gasol after the drubbing of defending champions San Antonio Spurs. “It’s overwhelming. It’s a huge honor. It’s just beyond ourselves, individuals, so it’s a very exciting moment. Unforgettable, memorable, historical, you name it. You can use as many words and adjectives as you want.
“So right now we’re very thrilled, we’re overwhelmed, and we’re happy and thankful to everyone that supports us, the fans that have voted for us. Our teams, our organizations — so it’s just a beautiful moment to live and go through as an NBA player.”
This will be Pau’s fifth All-Star selection while this would be Marc’s second. Tom and Dick Van Arsdale were the only brothers who played in the same All-Star games (1971 and 1972) but neither has started, giving the brothers’ selections extra pizzazz.
Another major development in the NBA All-Star starters announcement was Kyle Lowry‘s inclusion in the line-up. Perennial All-Star Dwyane Wade was left out in favor of the Toronto Raptors point guard, who is one one five first-time starters alongside Washington Wizards dynamo John Wall and Gasol in the East, with the younger Gasol and Anthony Davis getting the nod in the West. Rounding out the line-ups, Blake Griffin (West) and Carmelo Anthony (East) were also voted in.
Bryant, who has been voted as a starter since his second year in the league, left his participation in jeopardy after being diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. This will open a new roster spot in a very crowded Western Conference, which I say, is all good.
In all likelihood, Steve Kerr ( Warriors) and Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta Hawks) will call the shots for the West and East, respectively. It’s also interesting to note that the Eastern conference-leading Hawks had no starters which should make the announce of the reserves next week very interesting.