INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Pacers forward/guard Paul George was named Thursday night as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Stars. In his fourth season in the NBA, George will start in the NBA All-Star Game, Feb. 16, in New Orleans.
Making his second All-Star game appearance, George was voted a starter by fan voting. He was second in the Eastern Conference with 1,211,318 votes and third overall in the NBA in voting. A fourth-year player out of Fresno State, George is eighth in the NBA with an average of 23.3 points per game.
Last year, George was voted by the Eastern Conference coaches as a reserve on the All-Star team for the game in Houston. He also participated in the Three-Point Contest in 2013. Prior to that, George participated in the All-Star weekend festivities in Orlando in the Rising Stars Challenge as well as the Slam Dunk Contest in 2012.
“It’s huge. It’s special, it’s a blessing, especially coming from where I come from,” said George. “Gaining votes through the fans to be a starter…A lot of guys come into the league and they already have a name and an image, and fans already are following them and already know about their game coming into the league. For me to have nothing really, it’s love to the true fans that I have so I think it’s special.”
George continued, “It means a lot because that means the fans are really watching us as a team. For us to have the number one record in the league, and playing at a high level, I think the fans are starting to follow us as a whole and I think that’s the biggest thing with me being a starter. Now, we have additional fans who are pulling for us.”
George becomes the third Pacers player to start the NBA All-Star Game, joining Reggie Miller (1995) and Jermaine O’Neal (2003, 2004 and 2006) as Pacers voted by the fans to start for the Eastern Conference.
Last year, George became the 12th Pacers player to be named to the All-Star team (Don Buse, Billy Knight, Reggie Miller, Detlef Schrempf, Rik Smits, Dale Davis, Jermaine O’Neal, Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert are the others). At 22 years old, George was the youngest Pacers player to ever be named an NBA All-Star.
“All of our individual honors are indicative of team success but this particular honor is indicative of how far Paul has come with his individual improvement,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “We’re very excited for Paul, our franchise and our fans that he has been honored this way.”