Thoughts on the NBA All-Star game line up

The starting line up for the 2016 NBA All-Star game was released last week and there were few surprises.

The starting line up for the 2016 NBA All-Star game, to be held from Feb. 12th to 14th, was released last week and there were few surprises.

Again, much like the NHL All-Star voting process, a fan voting process crowned many winners.

Starters for the Eastern Conference include Dwayne Wade of the Mimi Heat, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers and, no surprise here, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors.

For the Western Conference, named starters as voted by the fans, include Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Now in his final NBA season, Bryrant led in votes from the beginning, with 1,533,432 initial votes. He was consistently ahead of last year’s fan favourite for the west and arguably the best player in the league, Stephen Curry. Last year Curry scored a total of 1,513,324 fan votes.

Another contest that was interesting to watch and would be determined right down to the wire were the two starter positions for the Eastern Conference backcourt.

Wade seemed to have a starting spot locked down from the beginning, while the second position would come down to fan votes for either Cleavland’s Kyrie Irving or Kyle Lowry. At the first vote update, Lowry was down by some 32,000 votes, so the push was on by the Toronto camp to get votes in to have their own starter on their home court.

Last year, Lowry overcame a similar situation in the final days of voting and valuated into the All-Star starting line up and this year was no different. As the clock ticked down, Raptors fans across the nation took to Twitter, got their thumbs busy and again, voted in their favourite Raptor.

As Canada’s only NBA team, the Raptors are true evidence that professional basketball does have a place north of U.S. border. This past week, the Raptors were fresh off an eight game winning streak after steamrolling the Los Angeles Clippers 112-94 on Sunday night. This is Toronto’s longest winning streak under Head Coach Dwayne Casey and also the franchise’s longest consecutive run of victories since 2002 which saw nine wins in a row.

To top off the victorious thunder, the 2016 NBA All-Star game will be held, for the first time ever, north of the border in Toronto, the home of the Raptors. The weekend will be a true showcase of Canadian culture and is proof that professional basketball is gaining popularity in Canada.

In addition to the NBA All-Star Game, the Air Canada Centre will also play host to the Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 12th, the All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 13th and the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, also held on Feb. 12th.

Raptors Global Ambas-

sador and my favourite all-around Canadian Drake was named as head coach of the Canadian team. Drake will, luckily, be joined on the coaching bench by Steve Nash, former Raptor and MVP, and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Team Canada will face off against Team USA, which will be coached by actor and comedian Kevin Hart.

As for the remaining players in the All-Star game, seven reserves for each conference will be named this Thursday (Jan. 28th). These reserves are selected by NBA coaches and are a true recognition of a player’s successes in the season thus far. Money has it that Lowry’s teammate and partner in crime Demar DeRozan will be among the chosen few. There really shouldn’t be any surprises here either.


Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

File Photo
Blackfalds RCMP seeking suspects in traffic collision

RCMP are asking the public for help identifing two suspects wanted for multiple offences

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Most Read