"Players who put up stats are really good. Players who put up stats and help their teams win a ton of games are All-Stars." - Steve Kerr
The NBA announced the list of All-Star reserves who will represent the Eastern and Western Conferences at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game in New York on Feb. 15, 2015 and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson is among those selected. Here's the full list of rosters and event participants.
ESPN sources say Klay Thompson has been selected as a Western Conference All-Star— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 29, 2015
Commissioner Adam Silver will choose a replacement player for the injured Kobe Bryant and it is quite possible that Western Conference head coach Steve Kerr will start his own Dubs' backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. (Update: DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento was selected to take Kobe's spot.)
Credit Steve Kerr's offensive system in transforming Thompson's game, but at the same time, Thompson has taken it on his own to develop into a complete player on both sides of the floor, given his rise in production and efficiency. This season, Thompson is averaging a team high 23.0 points along with 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He is ranked seventh in scoring, third in three-point percentage and third in three-point makes through January 28. On top of that, Klay's three-point percentage (45.6%) and field-goal percentage (48.1%) are career highs. As a three-time Western Conference Player of the Week, Klay is a huge reason why Golden State holds the top record in the NBA.
Some highlights that make him worthy of this selection include his previous career high 41-point performance vs Lakers, a career 5-block effort against Houston and most notably the recent 52-point outburst that included an NBA-record 37 points in the 3rd quarter (including 9-of-9 on threes, also a league record, and 13-of-13 from the field) and a career best 11 three-point makes, all in 32 minutes of action.
Klay Thompson will be a busy man during All-Star weekend as he is also set to participate in the Three-Point Shootout along with defending champion Marco Belinelli, Stephen Curry, Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews and J.J. Redick. Among the shooting participants, Korver leads all in three-point percentage at 53.4% while Thompson sits steadily at the third spot sporting 45.6% according to ESPN Stats. However, Klay tops all at 3.2 three-point makes per game, while Steph is fourth at 2.9 three-point makes per game. This year's Three-Point Shootout features one of the deepest field of shooters in the Association and could probably turn into the most hyped All-Star Saturday night event.
Additionally, Golden State's very own Alvin Gentry will man the USA bench in the Rising Stars Challenge. Gentry, currently an associate head coach on Steve Kerr's coaching staff, began his coaching career as an assistant under Larry Brown's San Antonio Spurs in 1989. With coaching tenures later in Detroit, Los Angeles (Clippers), Miami and Phoenix, Gentry established himself as an experienced and respected leader. In 2009, Gentry took over Terry Porter in Phoenix and became the fifth head coach in NBA history to lead his team to a Western Conference Finals berth in his first full season.
Let's celebrate Klay Thompson's first All-Star selection and relive his NBA record breaking quarter!