Luol Deng further cemented himself as the best British basketball player of all-time last night, being named to the 2012 NBA All Star game in Orlando on February 26.
Deng, named as an Eastern Conference reserve by the league’s coaches, becomes the first ever British NBA All-Star, and joins teammate Derrick Rose on the Eastern Conference side; making it the first time since 1997 the Bulls have had two players in the game.
Tweeting after the announcement, he said he was elated:
“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”
“Major congrats to my boy @LuolDeng9 for being selected to the Allstar team, long overdue and well deserved. London in the building!!!!!!”
Deng is averaging 16 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting almost 44 percent from the field in 21 games for the Bulls. Considered one of the biggest All Star snubs last season, he missed seven games recently due to a torn ligament in his left wrist, as the Bulls went 4-3 without him in the lineup – they had lost three games all season before that. He is averaging 16.3 points in the last three games since returning showing few ill effects.
Deng joins Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, Roy Hibbert, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams and Andre Iguodala, with Rose, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in the starting lineup for the East.
For the West, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Russell Westbrook, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Steve Nash and Marc Gasol will come off the bench, with a starting five that features Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum.
Massive congratulations to Lu! What do you think of the rest of the all-star selections?