Grizzlies center Marc Gasol named All-Star starter
Memphis Grizzlies Marc Gasol was named to his second career All-Star team on Thursday night as the NBA revealed its starting lineups for the 2015 All-Star Game.
Gasol joins big men Anthony Davis (Pelicans) and Blake Griffin (Clippers) in the Western Conference’s starting frontcourt, while Steph Curry (Warriors) and Kobe Bryant (Lakers) round out the team’s starting five. He becomes the first Grizzlies player to ever be named an All-Star starter.
The league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year is enjoying a career year for the 30-12 Grizzlies, averaging a career-high 19.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Gasol’s previous All-Star appearance came in 2012.
"I am honored and humbled to be selected as a starter for the All-Star Game," Gasol, who earned 795,121 total votes, said in a statement. "Knowing that I will be facing my brother Pau for the opening tip, it will be a true accomplishment for our family and a memory I will cherish for the rest of my career. It holds special meaning to be voted in by the fans, and I look forward to representing my teammates, the organization, the City of Memphis and entire Mid-South community and Grizzlies fans across the world."
The All-Star starters were selected via fan vote, while the event’s reserves will be selected by NBA coaches.
First-year Warriors coach Steve Kerr will coach Gasol’s Western Conference team and Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer will lead the East squad.
"The Grizzlies organization is thrilled and proud that Marc Gasol has been voted as a starter to the West team for the All-Star Game by fans worldwide," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said. "This honor confirms what we in Memphis have known for quite some time – that Marc is one of the elite players in the game. This is a great honor not just for Marc but for our team, the City of Memphis andour global legion of fans."
Adding to the good news for the Gasol family, Marc’s brother, Pau, made his fifth career All-Star team on Thursday — his first as a starter. The elder Gasol is averaging 18.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game for the Eastern Conference’s Bulls.