The votes are in and it’s official: Joakim Noah and teammate Luol Deng are headed to Houston in February as 2013 Eastern Conference NBA All-Stars.
Both players were voted onto the team by coaches in the East and Noah is just the third Chicago Bulls player in the "post-Jordan" era to make the world’s greatest pick-up game.
Noah is also the first Bulls big man to make the team since Artis Gilmore in 1982.
Joakim is having a great 2012-13 campaign and his play, along with Deng, are two of the reasons that even without Derrick Rose, the Bulls are fourth in the Eastern Conference at 25-16; good for first place in the Central Division.
Noah is averaging career-highs in points at 12.2 per game, assists at 4.0 per game, minutes at 38.3 per game and free-throw shooting percentage at 77 percent. Deng, who has been dealing with an injured hamstring, is averaging 17.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game and makes his second consecutive All-Star game.
After Tuesday night’s come from behind victory over the Detroit Pistons at the United Center, Noah downplayed the possibility of being named an All-Star for the first time in his career, but to his peers in the NBA – like former Bull Jamal Crawford who tweeted on Wednesday night that Joakim should get in – they feel the big man is certainly deserving.
“It would be really special to be selected as an All-Star. I can’t really control that, but it would be an unbelievable honor,” Noah told Outside shot. “I don’t really like to talk about it because there’s a lot of great players out there, but if it happens, it would be great. If it doesn’t, you’ve just got to move on and get ready for the next game. It’s just non-stop.”
Noah no longer has to worry anymore because it’s official. He’s going to Houston to represent Chicago along with his teammate, and the Bulls now have had an All-Star player for the fourth consecutive year.
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