LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former Wildcat Anthony Davis (pictured) is headed to his fourth straight NBA All-Star Game but the first in front of his home crowd.
Davis was announced as an NBA All-Star starter Thursday night, Jan. 19, on TNT and will join the league’s best players on Feb. 19 in New Orleans for the league’s annual NBA All-Star Game. The game will have extra significance for Davis as it will be played in front of his home team’s crowd at the Smoothie King Center.
Davis was drafted No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the New Orleans Hornets) in 2012 and has since become one of the league’s marquee players.
Davis was voted in by the fans, his peers and media members. Fans could vote via Twitter, Facebook NBA.com, the NBA app and Google search.
In a change in the voting process this year, fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10 starters for the 66th NBA All-Star Game. All current NBA players and a panel of basketball media accounted for 25 percent each, with each participant completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from both conferences.
Voting closed on Monday with record numbers. The Eastern and Western Conference All-Star reserves, which are expected to include a number of other former Kentucky men’s basketball players, will be announced on Jan. 26 on TNT.
Davis is in his fifth and arguably his best season of what’s already been a magnificent professional career. Davis, who is an MVP candidate as the season nears its midpoint, is among the league leaders in a number of the major statistical categories.
The 6-foot-11 forward ranks third in scoring (28.8 points per game), sixth in rebounding (12.1 rpg), second in blocks (2.43 bpg) and sixth in double-doubles (27). His player efficiency rating, a strong indicator of a player’s overall contributions and value, is at 28.32, the fourth-best mark in the league.
Davis has had a number of jaw-dropping performances this year, including opening the NBA season with a line of 50 points, 15 rebounds, five steals, five assists and four blocks. He followed that historic game with 45 points and 17 rebounds two nights later. He already has 20 games of 30 or more points this season.
The game will mark Davis’ fourth appearance in the NBA All-Star Game and his second overall as a starter. He was also voted in as a starter for the 2015 game.
Named the 2012 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading Kentucky to the 2012 national championship, Davis has already put together a long list of accolades in the NBA during his short career. Among his most noteworthy achievements, he was named to the All-NBA First Team in 2015 and the NBA All-Rookie Team in 2013. He was considered the consensus national player of the year – Kentucky’s first – in 2012.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught