Celtics are third team in NBA history to have multiple All-Stars and Rising Stars
Last weekend, we had the privilege of watching a few of our Boston Celtics participate in NBA All-Star Weekend. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum kicked things off by playing for Team USA in the Rising Stars game. Team World took the trophy in a 155-124 victory, but the two Celtics' youngsters surely showed off their stuff on the All-Star stage. Jaylen finished with 35 points on 14 of 21 shooting and 10 rebounds, and was easily the bell of the Rising Stars ball. If his team had won the game, he would have been the easy MVP choice. Tatum also impressed in the game, and ended up tallying 15 points on 7 of 13 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. The next night, point-center Al Horford participated in the Skills Challenge and let me down big time with his first round defeat against Joel Embiid. If Al had only listened to my advice, he would have been the one raising that trophy and bringing it home to Boston. Dang shame... But the main event took place on Sunday night: the NBA All-Star game, and it was a doozy. The best one that we've seen in years. The final four minutes was legitimate, competitive basketball, and the game ended in a defensive stop, when LeBron James and Kevin Durant trapped Steph Curry, denying him of a final second shot to tie it. The final: 148-145, Team LeBron. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford were voted to play in the prestigious event. Kyrie almost hit the triple-double mark, and finished with 13 points on 6 of 16 shooting, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists. Al Horford ended with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. And check out this tidbit:
The Celtics are the only team in the NBA to have multiple Rising Stars and multiple All-Stars this year.
The Celtics were the only team this season to have multiple players in both All-Star games, and are only the third team ever to complete that feat. They're a team who can contend for a title now, and will seemingly be sitting pretty for the future as well. But lets take a look at the other two teams to have had multiple players compete in both games during All-Star weekend. The first was the 1995 Phoenix Suns, who had Dan Majerle and Charles Barkley nominated to the big game, and Wesley Person and Trevor Ruffin play in then's Rookie Challenge. The Suns, of course, didn't raise a banner that season. There hasn't ever been a banner raisedin Phoenix, so their shining rookies didn't develop into franchise players either. Person had a nice rookie season, where he averaged 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. During his career, he played for seven teams, and only averaged above 15 points one time. Ruffin, on the other hand, only played in the NBA for two seasons. In his rookie year with the Suns, he averaged 4.8 points and 1 assist. After the season, he was waived and picked up by the Philadelphia 76ers, where he stayed for a year, and averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. He was then entered into that year's expansion draft, where he was chosen by the Vancouver Grizzlies. They immediately dropped him, and he never played another minute in the NBA. The second team to have multiple players participate in the All-Star game and the Rising Stars Challenge was the 2005 Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade was elected to play in both games at the time, as he was a sophomore in 2005, when he averaged 24.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.6 steals. Joining him in the All-Star spotlight was Shaquille O'Neal, and in the Rookie/ Sophomore game was Udonis Haslem. The following season, in 2006, that Miami Heat squad walked away with new bling on their fingers. They defeated the Dallas Mavericks in six games, behind Wade's 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.7 steals per game. One of the best NBA Finals efforts of all time. So, hopefully the Celtics turn out to be more like the Heat than the Suns on this one. I think it's already confirmed that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum aren't some one-hit-wonders who will be passed around the league like funny smelling cigarettes at a Grateful Dead concert. And who knows? Maybe by their third seasons they'll be as smooth as Flash was in his third year. When Celtics.com spoke to Jaylen Brown about the Celtics' position at All-Star Weekend, Brown said,
Man, when I think about it, that really is kind of special. Multiple All-Stars and multiple Rising Stars… I think that’s pretty cool.
And when he was informed that the Celtics were part of a rare group to do so, he said,
Three teams? Wow. When you think of it in that light, it’s amazing.
Agreed, Jaylen. Let's win some now, and then some later. Sounds like a good plan. The Cs will return to the floor tonightfrom their week-long break, when they'll face off against the Detroit Pistons. Let's head into the playoffs with steam. Follow Sean Waukewan Photo: Celtics