Kemba Walker replaces injured Kristaps Porzingis on Team LeBron
FILE - CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 20: Kemba Walker #15 of the Charlotte Hornets handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 20, 2017 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA press release
NEW YORK – Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured New York Knicks forward/center Kristaps Porzingis on Team LeBron in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (Feb. 19, PHL time).
In addition, 2018 NBA All-Star Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons will replace Porzingis in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. The competition will take place on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Staples Center as part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night (Sunday, PHL time).
Walker becomes an NBA All-Star for the second time, having made his All-Star Game debut last year in New Orleans. The seven-year veteran is averaging 22.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 51 games, joining new All-Star teammate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers as the only Eastern Conference players who are producing that many points and assists per game.
The 6'1" Walker has scored at least 40 points in a game three times this season, one of eight NBA players to do so. He also ranks ninth in the NBA in three-pointers made with 141. On Feb. 4, Walker became the Hornets’ all-time leader in three-pointers made, passing Dell Curry’s record of 929.
Since Jan. 1 (Jan. 2, PHL time), Walker has led Charlotte to a 10-7 record while posting the third-highest scoring average in the Eastern Conference (24.6 ppg) to go with an increase in assists (6.2 apg). For the season, the Hornets are 17.4 points per 100 possessions better when Walker is on the court than when he is off the court, the highest mark among all qualifying NBA players, according to NBA.com/Stats.
Porzingis will not play in the NBA All-Star Game or defend his title in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge after sustaining a torn ACL in his left knee in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 6 (Feb. 7, PHL time). A first-time NBA All-Star selection in his third season, Porzingis is averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a league-leading 2.40 blocked shots in 48 games. He was selected by NBA head coaches as an All-Star reserve and drafted to Team LeBron by James.
According to NBA rules, when an All-Star is unable to participate, the commissioner shall choose a replacement from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Porzingis and Walker both play for Eastern Conference teams.
The 67th NBA All-Star Game will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 50 languages through the league’s international television and digital partners. The game features a new format in which team rosters were drafted by James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, captain of Team Stephen.