Former Florida Gators power forward David Lee of the Golden State Warriors (Western Conference) and center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls (Eastern Conference) were named reserves for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday.
Earning his second career All-Star nod, Lee has had a fantastic first half of the season for Golden State, averaging 19.6 points per game and a team-high 10.8 rebounds.
Not only is he registering a double-double average on the season, Lee is also leading the NBA with 17 total 20-point, 10-rebound games while helping his team lock down fifth place in the Western Conference standings.
Lee, then in his fifth and final season as member of the New York Knicks, also played in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game as a reserve. He is the first member of the Warriors to be named an NBA All-Star since 1997 (Latrell Sprewell).
“A chance to play in the All-Star Game is pretty impressive,” Florida head coach Billy Donovan said Thursday afternoon. “I’m proud of those guys. I think that the one thing about it is David Lee is having just an incredible year. Sometimes you don’t get a chance maybe to follow him a lot just because he’s out west and with the time change, but he’s had more 20-point, 10-rebound games than anybody in the NBA. He’s really, really playing well and their team is doing well, so I’m happy for him.”
Noah received the first All-Star nomination of his career for averaging 12.2 points and team-highs of 10.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks for Chicago.
He has been an integral part of the Bulls’ success so far this season as the team is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with star point guard Derrick Rose not even having stepped on the court yet this year.
Thanks to My gator family And coach d. Live in the moment. Shwaga
— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) January 25, 2013
Both players will start out on the bench for their respective teams on Feb. 17 in Houston, TX but should see ample time on the floor over the course of the game.
Two other former Gators may join Lee and Noah in Houston as Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons are likely choices for the Rising Stars Challenge featuring first- and second-year NBA players.
Photo Credit: Associated Press