Doug Collins can sleep now.
The 76ers coach admitted on Thursday that he woke up that morning a 4, worried about whether one of his players would make the All-Star game, which is scheduled for Feb. 26 in Orlando.
The reserves for the Eastern and Western Conferences were announced tonight on TNT and Sixers forward Andre Iguodala was added to the roster.
It is the first All-Star appearance for Iguodala, now in his eighth season in the league and with the Sixers. He admitted that he thought he could have made the team “maybe twice, definitely one other time.”
This season Iguodala is averaging 13 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.8 steals. Though this is the fourth-straight season in which his scoring has declined, Iguodala is one of the main cogs in Collins’ offensive system that preaches ball sharing. The 6-7 Arizona product also has been dubbed by Collins as a first-team, all-league defender.
He becomes the first Sixer other than Allen Iverson to make an All-Star Game since Dikembe Mutombo in 2002. The reserves were voted on by head coaches in each conference, who each picked seven players (two forwards, two guards, a center and two ‘wildcard’ players from any position) not from their own team.
Iguodala said at the Sixers’ practice this morning at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine that it would be nice to make the All-Star team, but that it wouldn’t devastate him if he didn’t. He said he wasn't even planning on watching the announcements on TNT.
“I’m going to be at Bible study with Jodie (Meeks),” he said. Asked if he was going to watch the announcement on television, Iguodala said: “Probably not. I got a lot of stuff to do, I’ve got a lot of errands to run, so I’ll be running around. And then I’ve got to pack for the week (road trip).
“I think it would be a good experience but it won’t be a heart breaker or like a bomb got dropped on me. Hopefully there will be good news, but there won’t be any bad news.”
However, after the selection, his appreciation was clear.
"The phone is blowing up... Thanks to for the love... Truly a blessing," he tweeted.
Sixers executive released statements to congratulate Iguodala:
"On behalf of the entire Philadelphia 76ers organization, I want to congratulate Andre Iguodala on being named a member of the NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team," said Managing Owner Josh Harris. "My first season here has already provided a number of highlights on and off the court, but Andre receiving this honor for the first time is among the best. We are excited and proud that Andre will be representing our team, our fans and the city of Philadelphia during All-Star weekend."
“Andre has proven time and time again that he is one of the NBA’s elite players and premier defenders,” said CEO and Co-Owner Adam Aron. “He has been an integral part of our team’s success this season. Andre Iguodala has displayed the passion, intensity and pride that is representative of our team and our city. We want to congratulate Andre on this great honor.”
"I feel great that Andre has been recognized by the Eastern Conference head coaches as one of the top players in the league," said Sixers President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn. "He is certainly one of the best all-around players in the NBA and very deserving of this honor."
"I could not be more proud of Andre Iguodala for being recognized as an All-Star," said Head Coach Doug Collins. "Andre has meant so much to the success of our team this season and he is one of the most talented, unselfish players I have ever had the opportunity to coach - the entire 76ers organization, our coaching staff, his teammates and I are thrilled he will be representing us in this year's All-Star game."
The remainder of the East reserves: Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics), Chris Bosh (Miami Heat), Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets). Deng, Hibbert and Iguodala are first-time All-Stars, while Williams earns his third trip, Johnson his sixth, and Bosh his seventh.
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, whose 11 selections are consecutive, is joined on the West team by reserves LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder). For Aldridge and Gasol, this marks their first All-Star selection. It’s the second All-Star selection for both Love and Westbrook, while Parker goes for the fourth time, and Nash, at 38 the oldest player in this year’s game, is an All-Star for the eighth time.
Starters were previously voted on by the fans.
Selected to start in the East were Derrick Rose (Bulls), LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (Heat), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), and Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic). Voted to start for the West were Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles Lakers), Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), and Kevin Durant (Thunder).