D'Angelo Russell is the engine behind the Nets' resurgence to playoff contention, and after initially missing out, his efforts are now being recognized with a trip to play with the league's best players.
The NBA on Friday announced that the Brooklyn guard was selected by commissioner Adam Silver as a reserve for the All-Star Game, the first time the 22-year-old has been selected as an All-Star. Russell is replacing Indiana's Victor Oladipo, who suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Russell, in his fourth NBA season and second with the Nets, is the first Nets All-Star since Joe Johnson in 2014. He's averaging career-highs with in points per game (19.6) and assists per game (6.4.) He has helped Brooklyn take a huge leap forward in its rebuild as the Nets (28-25) currently hold the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Entering Friday, Russell ranked fifth in the East and 12th in the NBA in assists per game, and his 140 3-pointers made were third-most in the East and ninth-most in the league.
The Nets acquired Russell from the Lakers on June 22, 2017 in a trade which sent Brook Lopez and the rights to Kyle Kuzma to Los Angeles. The Lakers selected Russell No. 2 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.
The All-Star Game will take place in Charlotte on Feb. 17.