AT&T CENTER – The NBA has announced the Western Conference All-Star starters, and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was among the five selections.
In the guard positions, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and James Harden of the Houston Rockets were also named starters for the West. Joining Leonard in the frontcourt will be Kevin Durant of the Warriors and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Leonard is averaging 24.8 points per game, 5.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and he’s shooting 48.8% from the field and 41.5% from 3-point range in just 33.2 minutes per game this season. Leonard is a major part of why the Spurs are off to a 32-9 start midway through the season, despite the roster having seven new players being added in the offseason.
As for who the West will face on All-Star Sunday in February, that’ll be Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, LeBron James of the Cavaliers and Giannis Antetounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
This year, All-Star starter voting was decided by the fans (50%), select media members (25%) and the players (25%). While a player like Russell Westbrook, who is averaging a triple double so far this season did not get selected, the new voting format did prevent Warriors center Zaza Pachulia from getting selected, as he led all forwards in the West behind Durant in fan voting.
The All-Star reserves will be announced next Thursday, where Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge might have a chance to be selected by the coaches.
As for other Spurs who received votes from the players, here were the results: Leonard (119), Aldridge (36), Pau Gasol (7), Manu Ginobili (4), Patty Mills (2), Tony Parker/Kyle Anderson/Bryn Forbes (1 each).