For players lucky enough to participate, All-Star weekend is a balanced mixture of relaxation, fun, self-promotion, and a valuable opportunity to collect lifelong memories. For Brandon Knight, that last part is most depressing. For Kyrie Iring, well, by the time his career’s all said and done it’ll be the most insignificant footnote.
A few weeks ago I predicted Kemba Walker would be this season’s Rookie of the Year. Much has happened since. Ricky Rubio emerged to torture both defenses and a few impatient general managers, Kyrie Irving started on Day 1 with a refusal to look back, and a slew of pleasant surprises (Norris Cole, MarShon Brooks, Markieff Morris, Jon Leuer, Chandler Parsons, and Kawhi Leonard to name a few) rose from their respective benches, grasping to steal a majority of the headlines away. But the race is far from over, and there’s still time for Kemba to shine.
Saturday night he saw the first start of his career, and the performance was quite marvelous. 39 minutes, 23 points on 8-14 shooting (2-4 from deep), 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers. Charlotte won the game by 12 points, and Kemba was a central reason why. Stat lines like this aren’t expected each and every night, but let it be said, crossovers like the one seen above most certainly are.