The NBA’s elite head to Madison Square Garden Sunday night for the 64th All-Star Game, the annual tradition of East versus West for midseason supremacy.
This year’s edition does stem from the world’s most-famous arena, however, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn hosted All-Star Saturday. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets co-host this weekend’s festivities.
Injuries have ravaged this year’s contest. Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) and Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) were all voted as starters by the fans, but all three withdrew due to injuries. Miami’s Dwyane Wade also elected to skip the game.
The Western Conference team righted some wrongs by adding Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki. Atlanta’s Kyle Korver was named to replace Wade.
Golden State’s Steph Curry was the leading vote-getter and he’ll have a familiar face with him in the starting lineup. Klay Thompson of the Warriors was named as a replacement starter, as was James Harden of the Houston Rockets and LaMarcus Aldridge of the Trail Blazers.
Head coach Steve Kerr, who has led the Warriors to the best record in the NBA, made the announcements about the new starters. Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol was the fifth starter voted to the Western Conference team.
The East was not nearly as decimated by injuries. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is back as a starter, alongside Chicago’s Pau Gasol and hometown hero Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks in the frontcourt.
“To be able to start an All-Star Game in my home court, to represent New York in New York, one of the biggest stages in sports, for me to be that face, I’m honored to be here,” said Anthony.
John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors are the East’s starting backcourt.
The Western reserves are: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder; Chris Paul of the Clippers and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. Lillard, Cousins and Nowitzki were named to the team by commissioner Adam Silver.
Eastern reserves include four Atlanta Hawks – Korver, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Al Horford; Miami’s Chris Bosh; Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Chicago’s Jimmy Butler.
Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer will lead the East team.
NBA Special All Star release :
West vs East