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Holly MacKenzie

Around the NBA: Wiggins named NBA All-Star



Jan 31, 2022

Andrew Wiggins is headed to Cleveland for All-Star weekend. The eight-year forward was announced as an All-Star starter on Thursday, marking his first selection to the All-Star Game in his career. His family woke him up from a pre-game nap with the good news.

“I thought I was dreaming for a second,” Wiggins said. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ It was a good way to learn that I made the All-Star. And I’m thankful. I’ve been putting in a lot of work and I’ve found a home here. Hopefully I can keep going. Hopefully it’s not the last one. Hopefully we keep going this year, hopefully we win a title. That’s the next step.”

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called the news “one of the proudest moments” of his coaching career. “To see how hard he’s worked, and to see all the work rewarded, just could not be happier for him,” Kerr said. “The whole organization is glowing right now because of what Wiggs has meant to us, but more important, just the way he carries himself. Just a wonderful guy and he deserves this and we are all thrilled.”

The 26-year-old Canadian was visibly touched by the love he had received from his teammates and coaching staff.

“It means a lot,” Wiggins said. “This organization, the culture here, everyone here, they’ve accomplished so much. To hear that, it means a lot.”

Wiggins will represent the Golden State Warriors alongside teammate Stephen Curry.

“We’re all just crazy excited for him,” Curry, an eight-time NBA All-Star, said.

Wiggins has been fantastic for the Warriors this season, helping the team to a 37-13 record, trailing only the Phoenix Suns. He is averaging 18.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game through 46 appearances for Golden State this year. The play of Wiggins also helped the Warriors weather the storm as the organization awaited the return of Klay Thompson from ACL rehab.

Via, Thompson was thrilled to hear about Wiggins’ selection.

“We would not be where we’re at without his play, “ five-time NBA All-Star Klay Thompson said. “He will be an All-Star multiple times. This is just the beginning.

In his most recent game, the 26-year-old Canadian had 24 points in a 110-104 Warriors victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The 71st NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 20 in Cleveland.

Wiggins becomes just the third Canadian to be selected to an All-Star team, joining Steve Nash and Jamal Magloire as Canadians to receive the nod.

Joining the two Warriors in the starting lineup are Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan, Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Los Angeles Laker LeBron James, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Memphis’ Ja Morant and Atlanta’s Trae Young.

Elsewhere around the league, Luguentz Dort had a 27-point, eight-rebound, four-assist, two-steal night in a 113-110 OT Oklahoma City Thunder loss to the Indiana Pacers. Dort is averaging 16.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for the Thunder this season. Teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points to go with 10 assists in a narrow 111-110 Thunder loss to the Chicago Bulls. Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 22.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in his fourth NBA season.

The New Orleans Pelicans have dropped three in a row, but Nickeil Alexander-Walker gave his best effort in a 117-107 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, finishing with 31 points on 11-for-22 field goals, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc to go with four rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot. Alexander-Walker is averaging 13.0 points per game for the Pelicans.

In Memphis, the Grizzlies have won three straight and are third in the Western Conference with a 35-17 record. While Canadian Dillon Brooks remains sidelined with an ankle injury, big man Brandon Clarke has been doing his part to help the Grizzlies extend their hold on third spot in the West. Clarke is averaging 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game in his third season. In a 119-109 Memphis victory against the Utah Jazz on Friday, Clarke had 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting. He followed that up with a 10-point, six-rebound night in a 115-95 win against the Washington Wizards on Saturday.

Trey Lyles contributed 15 points and seven rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and a steal in a 115-105 Detroit Pistons victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. In the team’s previous game against the Orlando Magic, Lyles scored 18 points. For the season, the seventh year forward is averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

The San Antonio Spurs fell 115-110 to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, but rookie Josh Primo continued to make the most of his minutes, scoring 13 points in the loss. Primo shot 5-for-10 in the game, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, while adding three rebounds, an assist and two blocked shots in 28 minutes.

With All-Star weekend officially just weeks away, Canadians all around the league will be working to help their teams finish strong heading into the break before the final push of the regular season.