Former Florida Gators center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls on Thursday was named a reserve for the Eastern Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.
“I’m just happy. I’m honored to be selected to play in the All-Star Game and play against the best players in the world,” he told ESPNChicago.com. “It’s very humbling. I’m happy my hard work is paying off. Even though it’s not my priority, it’s still a pretty good achievement. I’m proud of it.”
Noah received the second-straight All-Star nomination of his career after averaging career-highs of 11.4 points and 4.2 assists through the first half of the 2013-14 season. His 11.7 points per game is just 0.2 away from his career-best mark.
The seven-year NBA veteran has been an integral part of Chicago’s success during his tenure with the team. The Bulls are currently 23-22 and ranked fifth in the Eastern Conference standings despite point guard Derrick Rose missing with a torn ACL.
Noah will start out on the bench for his team on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
Joining him in New Orleans, LA for the weekend’s festivities is Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who earned his second-straight nod to the Rising Stars Challenge featuring first- and second-year NBA players.
Beal, who is averaging 17.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists but is still recovering from a stress injury to his right leg suffered last season, is unsure if he will play in the contest, which is set for Friday, Feb. 14 at 9 p.m.
Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (19.1 points, 9.8 rebounds) was considered one of the All-Star game’s biggest snubs. He may be able to earn his way onto the Western Conference team as an injury replacement for Kobe Bryant.
Photo Credit: Associated Press