The Golden State Warriors will have two All-Star Game starters for the first time in 48 years, as shooting guard Klay Thompson will join point guard Stephen Curry in the Western Conference’s backcourt.
Thompson will start in place of injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Warriors coach Steve Kerr announced Wednesday. Kerr is heading up the Western Conference team. Curry was selected as a starter by the fans.
Kerr also said that Houston Rockets guard James Harden would join the starting lineup in place of injured Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, giving the West a three-guard lineup.
The NBA also announced that Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki would join the Western Conference team as a reserve in place of injured New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis.
The last time the Warriors featured two All-Star starters was 1967, when Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond made the lineup. The previous year, Barry, Thurmond and teammate Guy Rodgers all started the All-Star Game.
The most recent NBA team to feature two starting guards in an All-Star Game was the 1975 New York Knicks with Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe.
Thompson, 25, is averaging 22.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Harden, 25, had averages of 27.7 points, 6.8 assists and 5.7 rebounds entering Wednesday’s game against the Clippers. Nowitzki is producing 18.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
Nowitzki said, “It is always an honor to represent the Mavericks at the All Star Game. This year, it threw a little bit of a wrench into my plans, but I am very excited. Even though it was unexpected, I am looking forward to being a part of the festivities in New York.”
Bryant, voted a Western Conference starter for a record 17th consecutive year, is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery last month.
Griffin underwent surgery Monday to remove a staph infection from his right elbow.
Davis missed the Pelicans’ past two games due to a right shoulder sprain.
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