Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

In his first All-Star Game appearance, Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell will be playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo.

D’Angelo Russell may be an All-Star Game replacement for the injured Victor Oladipo, but he wasn’t the last pick in the televised draft. The Brooklyn Nets point guard was the fifth reserve player taken by the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Russell was towards the bottom of the draft but he was selected before LaMarcus Aldridge, Nikola Vucevic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyle Lowry, and Bradley Beal.

Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki were also selected after Russell, but they were separate from the reserves. It’s no surprise that LeBron James took his friend and former teammate, Wade.

Both Wade and Nowitzki were added to the All-Star Game by NBA commissioner Adam Silver for one last appearance before each player retires. Nowitzki hasn’t announced his retirement but it’s widely believed that this will be his last season.

Russell is the first All-Star representative for the Nets since Joe Johnson made the game in 2014. Russell’s ascension has been one of the most exciting stories of the NBA season thus far.

He has been instrumental in Brooklyn’s surprising run towards playoff contention. The Nets currently occupy the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and look like a safe bet to qualify in that very same position. Russell’s All-Star campaign is a huge reason for the team success.

Team LeBron and Team Giannis will take the floor on Feb. 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Team LeBron

  • LeBron James (Starter)
  • Kevin Durant (S)
  • Kyrie Irving (S)
  • Kawhi Leonard (S)
  • James Harden (S)
  • Anthony Davis
  • Klay Thompson
  • Damian Lillard
  • Ben Simmons
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Bradley Beal
  • Dwyane Wade

Team Giannis

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Starter)
  • Steph Curry (S)
  • Joel Embiid (S)
  • Paul George (S)
  • Kemba Walker (S)
  • Khris Middleton
  • Nikola Jokic
  • Blake Griffin
  • Russell Westbrook
  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Nikola Vucevic
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Dirk Nowitzki
NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.