A year ago, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was one of the biggest stars of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. A year later, he will make his first career All-Star in the Eastern Conference Backcourt. The 21-year-old is also the first Cavalier to start an All-Star game since LeBron James in 2010.
The 2014 NBA All-Star Game takes place on Sunday February 16th at 8 p.m. in New Orleans at the New Orleans Arena, home of the Pelicans.
Irving was the second leading vote getter in the Eastern Conference backcourt and will start alongside Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat. Also in the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference will James (also a member of the Miami Heat), Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers. The Eastern Conference will be coached by Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
In the Western Conference, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers were the leading vote getters in the backcourt (although Bryant has already said that he will not be playing in the All-Star game this season). In the Western Conference front court will be Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Western Conference All-Star’s will be coached by Portland’s Terry Stotts.
While Irving undeservedly deserves to be playing in the All-Star game, there is a question as to weather or not he deserves to be the starter. Other point guards in the Eastern Conference – namely John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors – are arguably more deserving from a statistical standpoint.
Still, this is a fan driven event for the fans and Irving deserves to start for the Eastern Conference based on that fact alone. Besides, the idea of seeing Irving going head-to-head against Stephen Curry at the start of the All-Star game is tantalizing enough.
A year ago was when Irving truly come out onto the national stage as one of the NBA’s premier up and coming talents. And if he can do something similar to what he did to Brandon Knight last year, there’s a chance this could be second coming out party.
And in case you forgot about Irving’s crossover: