DURHAM, N.C. – Former Duke guard and current Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving has been selected to start for the Eastern Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans (Feb. 16). Irving is one of four first-time starters in the contest after placing fifth in fan voting for the East squad.
Irving, currently fifth in the NBA in scoring at 21.7 points per game, while also averaging 3.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 35.2 minutes, will be making his second NBA All-Star Game appearance and the 20th overall by a former Blue Devil. He joins Luol Deng (2012-13), Carlos Boozer (2007-08), Grant Hill (1995-98), Jack Marin (1972-73) and Jeff Mullins (1969-71) as former Duke players to earn all-star status in back-to-back seasons.
He will be joined in the East starting by Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), LeBron James (Miami Heat), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and Paul George (Indiana Pacers). The top vote getters and starters for the Western Conference were Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Kevin Durant (OKC Thunder) and Blake Griffin (LA Clippers). Bryant is currently sidelined due to injury and not likely to play in the game.
All 10 starters, determined by fan vote, have spent time with USA Basketball during Mike Krzyzewski’s tenure as Senior National Team head coach, with eight of the 10 earning gold medals while playing for the Senior National Team. Only Irving and George, two of bright young stars in the NBA and with USA Basketball, have yet to compete in the Olympics or FIFA World Cup.
NBA All-Star Notes
• Irving will be the third Cavalier voted into the starting lineup, following Shawn Kemp and LeBron James.
• Irving was the sixth-youngest player (20 years, 331 days) named to an All-Star team when he was a reserve last year in Houston, and he is the fifth-youngest to be playing in his second All-Star Game (following LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Isiah Thomas).
• Irving had 15 points in 25 minutes in last year's game in Houston and won the Foot Locker 3-point shootout, joining Mark Price as the only Cavalier to win that event. Price won in 1993 and 1994.
• Irving is the sixth NBA All-Star to play at Duke under Coach K.
• Irving is the third former Duke player named to the NBA All-Star starting lineup (joining Grant Hill – 1995-98, 2000, 2005 & Jeff Mullins – 1969).