NEW YORK (AP/92.3 The Fan) — Kyrie Irving, the MVP of last year’s Rising Stars Challenge, will return to the game featuring top rookies and second-year players.
The Cleveland All-Star was one of 18 players chosen Wednesday for the Feb. 15 game in Houston. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will again serve as general managers and draft teams during TNT’s pregame show Feb. 7.
Irving, voted an Eastern Conference reserve by the conference’s head coaches, scored 34 points last year in Orlando to lead Team Chuck over Team Shaq, 146-133. Cavaliers teammates Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller also were picked.
“We’re very proud of Kyrie, Tristan, Dion and Tyler and the efforts they are putting in to earn this kind of recognition,” Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant said in a statement. “Internal growth with our young core is very important to us and this is a good reflection of their development.
“It is also great they will be able to experience this special All-Star weekend together and we look forward to seeing their continued hard work and progress.”
Rookie stars Damian Lillard of Portland and Anthony Davis of New Orleans, the No. 1 pick in the draft, also were selected.
The remainder of the roster is: Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson (Golden State); Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte); Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond (Detroit); Bradley Beal (Washington); Kenneth Faried (Denver); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio); Chandler Parsons (Houston); Alexey Shved (Minnesota); and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando).
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