Kyle Lowry became just the third player in Toronto Raptors team history to be voted an All-Star starter when he finished second among Eastern Conference guards in fan balloting with 805,290 votes.
Raptors fans rallied to overcome a deficit of more than 100,000 votes at the last balloting update to help Lowry overtake the Heat’s Dwyane Wade and join the Wizards’ John Wall in the starting backcourt for the East. This is the first All-Star appearance for Lowry, who becomes the first Raptor to start since Chris Bosh had 838,498 votes in 2008. In 2000, Vince Carter was the first ever Raptors player voted in with 1,911,973 votes and he repeated this from 2000 to 2005. Other Raptors who have participated in the All-Star game are Antonio Davis in 2001 and DeMar DeRozan last year.
“Thank you to the wonderful Raptors fans across the NBA, especially in Canada! I am amazed by your passion for our team and the support you have given me,” said Lowry. “When I re-signed here this summer I said one of the great things is being able to play for an entire country. This is further proof how really special that is.”
Toronto acquired Lowry from the Rockets on July 11, 2012 and last summer he signed a new multi-year contract with the team. Lowry has career averages of 12.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.26 steals and 29.2 minutes in 548 games.
This season Lowry is averaging career highs in points (19.8), rebounds (4.9), assists (7.5) and steals (1.62) through 42 games. He ranks 18th in the NBA in scoring and 6th in assists. Lowry was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December as he helped the Raptors to an 11-4 record.
The 64th NBA All-Star Game will be televised in Canada on TSN and will tip off on Sunday, February 15th at Madison Square Garden in New York City at 8 pm ET.
The All-Star reserves will be selected by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. They must vote for seven players within their conference: two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Reserves will be announced on Thursday, January 29th. If a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game after the coaches choose the reserves, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement.
Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas finished 7th among Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 231,741 votes. DeMar DeRozan finished 7th among Eastern Conference guards with 159,123 votes. Backup guard Lou Williams received 82,135 votes.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 23, 2015
— Amir Johnson (@IamAmirJohnson) January 23, 2015
— Greivis Vasquez (@greivisvasquez) January 23, 2015
— Jonas Valanciunas (@JValanciunas) January 23, 2015
— Greg Stiemsma (@gregstiemsma) January 23, 2015
The NBA’s leading scorer, Rockets James Harden, was third among Western Conference guards with 1,069,368 votes.
NBA All-STAR STARTERS:
LeBron James, Cleveland (1,470,483)
Pau Gasol, Chicago (974,177)
John Wall, Washington (886,368)
Kyle Lowry, Toronto (805,290)
Carmelo Anthony, New York (647,005)
Head coach: Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta
Stephen Curry, Golden State (1,513,324)
Anthony Davis, New Orleans (1,369,911)
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers (1,152,402)
Marc Gasol, Memphis (795,121)
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers (700,615)
Head coach: Steve Kerr, Golden State
Every year there are more deserving players than spots in the NBA All-Star game and in part because the fan voting is more based on popularity than reality, some very deserving players are not going have a chance.