Minneapolis/St. Paul – The NBA tonight announced that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has been voted in by fans as a Western Conference All-Star starter. Love received 661,246 votes, overtaking Dwight Howard over the final two weeks to secure a starting spot in the Western Conference frontcourt. In doing so Love will become the first Wolves player to start in an All-Star Game since Kevin Garnett in 2007. It will be Love’s third career All-Star appearance (2011, 2012), first start. The 2014 NBA All-Star Game, played at New Orleans Arena on Sunday, February 16, will be exclusively televised on TNT beginning at 7:00 p.m. CST.
“I want to sincerely thank all of the fans who voted this year,” said Love. “The support my teammates and I receive night in and night out is nothing short of amazing. The fans are who we play for and I am extremely honored to represent the Minnesota Timberwolves, Upper Midwest and Wolves fans across the world in New Orleans.”
“I am very happy for Kevin. He is certainly deserving of being voted in as a starter,” said Flip Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “You look at his numbers, his commitment to making his teammates better and his overall value to our team this year – he’s certainly having an All-Star caliber season. He’s been a joy to watch this year and I look forward to watching him represent the Timberwolves in New Orleans.”
“To be voted into the All-Star Game by the fans is a tremendous honor for Kevin,” said Wolves head coach Rick Adelman. “He’s been one of the best players in the NBA all season and I’m glad his hard work is paying off.”
In 40 games this season Love has posted averages of 25.0 points (4th in NBA), 13.0 rebounds (2nd) and a career-high 4.1 assists per game, putting him on pace to become the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975-76 to average 25+ points, 13+ rebounds and 4+ assists in a season. Love currently leads all Western Conference frontcourt players in made three-pointers (96), including a career-best and franchise-record-tying 8-of-9 effort Dec. 13 at San Antonio. His stellar first half of the season includes an 11-game stretch from Dec. 10-30 in which he scored 25+ points in each game, a new franchise record and the longest such streak in the NBA this season. Love also tallied 30 consecutive games with either 30+ points or 10+ rebounds to open the season, the longest such streak to begin a season since Bill Walton (34) in 1976-77.
The league-leader in both double-doubles (35) and 20-point, 10-rebound games (25), Love has tallied more 25+ point, 15+ rebound and 5+ assist games this season (8) than any individual in the league has since his debut in 2008-09. His 35 double-doubles through 41 team games put him on pace to become the third player since 1985-86 to record 70+ double-doubles in a single season. He pulled down his 4000th career rebound on Tuesdayat Utah, needing just 327 games to accomplish the feat to match Dwight Howard as the third-fastest player to reach the milestone (O’Neal, 319; Mutombo, 323).
Wolves guard Ricky Rubio (124,230) finished 10th in fan voting amongst Western Conference backcourt.
Also voted as Western Conference All-Star starters were Kobe Bryant (988,884), Stephen Curry (1,047,281), Kevin Durant (1,396,294) and Blake Griffin (688,466). The Eastern Conference All-Star starters are Dwyane Wade (929,542), Kyrie Irving (860,221), LeBron James (1,416,419), Paul George (1,211,318) and Carmelo Anthony (935,702).