Raptors’ Kyle Lowry named all-star for sixth straight year

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has been selected as an all-star reserve.

It’s the sixth career all-star selection for Lowry, who’s averaging 19.8 points and 7.4 assists per game while shooting 34.4 per cent from three-point range on a career-high 8.4 attempts in 36 games. He’s helped the defending-champion Raptors to a 33-14 record and second place in the Eastern Conference.

“That’s my teammates and the work my teammates have put in to help put me in that position,” Lowry said of what being named an all-star would mean to him after his Raptors won their eighth straight game Tuesday against the Atlanta Hawks. “It would mean a lot. I’d be happy, super ecstatic for it.”

This is also Lowry’s sixth straight all-star selection and with six nods, he has become the Raptors’ franchise leader in all-star appearances as a member of the team.

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Joining Lowry for the Feb. 16 exhibition in Chicago will be his Raptors teammate Pascal Siakam, who was named a starter for the game last week.

“For me, I’m so happy for Pascal, for the development that he had, I’m just so happy for him,” said Lowry.

Lowry was one of seven Eastern Conference players named as all-star reserves. Also named Thursday was the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton, Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis and Jayson Tatum from the Boston Celtics.

From the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz saw guard Donovan Mitchell and centre Rudy Gobert selected, Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers was chosen, as was the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, Brandon Ingram from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Houston Rockets’ Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul.

In all, including the starters, the 2020 NBA All-Star Game will feature nine first-time all-stars.

There’s a chance two other Raptors could also be announced as part of the NBA’s all-star festivities, too.

On Friday, at noon ET, the rosters for the NBA Rising Stars game will be announced with the chance that Raptors rookie Terence Davis might be among the selections for the U.S. roster. Davis is the only Toronto player to get into all 47 of the team’s games this season and is averaging 7.4 points and shooting 39.9 per cent from three-point range.

Additionally, there’s a chance that Toronto coach Nick Nurse could be coaching one of the two all-star teams if the Raptors hold steady in second place through games played on Sunday.

Next up for the NBA All-Star Game’s schedule will be the all-star draft, taking place on Feb. 6, a few hours after the NBA’s trade deadline.

This is the third year the NBA’s adopted this format of having two captains – this year Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James have the honour – pick their respective teams schoolyard style.

The all-star game itself will also go through a new format change in an effort to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant, who died along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash last Sunday.

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