NEW YORK — The NBA All-Star Game took a more familiar look this week when former Florida standouts Bradley Beal and Al Horford joined former The Rock of Gainesville player Joel Embiid on the East team’s roster.
This is the third time since 2010 that multiple Gators have been selected for the game (2010, Horford and David Lee; 2013, Lee and Joakim Noah)
This is the first selection for Beal who joins Horford, Lee and Noah as the fourth Florida player to get an All-Star nod.
Meanwhile, Stephen Curry will be able to stock his All-Star roster with plenty of Golden State teammates.
Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were chosen as reserves Tuesday, giving the defending NBA champions a record-tying four All-Stars for the second straight year.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards also had two reserves selected, and they will go into the pool of players that Curry and fellow captain LeBron James can draft to comprise the teams for the Feb. 18 game in Los Angeles. Their rosters will be unveiled Thursday, though the selection process won’t be televised.
Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns were chosen from the Western Conference, along with Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Portland’s Damian Lillard.
Besides Washington’s John Wall and Beal, the rest of the Eastern Conference reserves were Boston’s Horford, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.
The starters were announced last week. Curry and the Warriors’ Kevin Durant joined Houston’s James Harden and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins from the West, while the East players besides James were Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Philadelphia’s Embiid.
James and Curry earned the captain spots by being the leading vote-getters in fan balloting in each conference. They will not have to stick to conference affiliation when drafting their teams.
James will have the first pick after receiving the most total votes. After the starters are chosen, Curry will have the first pick among the reserves.
Beal, Oladipo, Porzingis and Towns were all first-time selections. Every other reserve will be making at least his third All-Star appearance.
The reserves were voted upon by the head coaches in each conference, who had to select two guards, three frontcourt players and two other players regardless of position. They were prohibited for voting for their own players.
Players having strong seasons who didn’t make the cut included Detroit’s Andre Drummond, the NBA’s leading rebounder, Clippers guard Lou Williams, Houston’s Chris Paul and Oklahoma City’s Paul George.