With fan voting finally closed, the NBA has announced the starters for the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams and Indiana Pacers‘ Paul George was named one of the three frontcourt starters for the Eastern Conference squad.
George becomes the 10th different Pacer to be named to the All-Star game since 1990 and the first to be named a starter since Jermaine O’Neal in 2006. The Pacers are off to their best start in franchise history and currently hold the league’s best record at 33-8. George has been a big part of the Pacers’ success this season and is averaging 23.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
It’s clear that George is becoming a fan favorite, not only in Indiana, but across the NBA fan base. His 1,211,318 votes was third to LeBron James (1,416,419) and Kevin Durant (1,396,294), arguably the two most popular players in the NBA. The impressive part of those numbers, is George received only 80,060 votes last season and was named an All-Star reserve.
Being named an All-Star starter is a huge honor for George. It’s a great addition for his future Hall of Fame resume, especially as he continues to add more All-Star games to it in the future. It would be nice to see George participate in some of the other All-Star Weekend events, like the Slam Dunk contest or Three-Point contest, but he’s already turned those down.
The Pacers know now that they’ve got one All-Star on their squad and will likely add Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson as Eastern Conference reserves when all is said and done. Having three All-Stars in one year will be a first for the Pacers since their 1971-72 ABA season, the same season they won their second ABA championship.