NBA: Luol Deng becomes first Briton to be selected for All-Star Game


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The Independent Online

Luol Deng has become the first British player to be selected for the NBA All-Star Game.

The Great Britain ace will join the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and fellow Bulls teammate Derrick Rose at the NBA’s showpiece midseason event.

The starters to the Eastern and Western Conference teams were voted by fans across the world. The reserves were subsequently selected by the 30 NBA head coaches.

The Team GB star has been a key figure in helping the Bulls to a league-best 22-6 win-loss record, averaging 16 points and a career-high 7.3 rebounds.

The 26-year-old admitted his selection was an honour, writing on his Twitter page: "Words can't describe how happy I am to make my first all star. Thanks to all my supporters especially the coaches who voted for me. £Honored"

Deng joins Bulls team-mate Derrick Rose in the All-Star Game - the first time the Bulls have had two representatives since the legendary Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were selected in 1997.

Selected to start in the East were... Derrick Rose (Bulls), LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), and Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic). Rounding off the East squad are... Chris Bosh (Miami Heat), Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets).

Voted to start for the West were... Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles Lakers), Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), and Kevin Durant (Thunder). The Western Conference reserves feature LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder). The contingent of four European players is a record: Deng (UK), Gasol (Spain), Nowitzki (Germany) and Parker (France).