Tony Parker admitted after Wednesday's victory over New Orleans that last year's All-Star Game in Orlando wasn't the same without Tim Duncan.
"It was lonely," he said. "I need my buddy back."
Done, and done. Duncan and Parker were both among seven Western Conference reserves announced by the NBA on Thursday. It is their 14th and fifth selection, respectively.
Duncan's days as a perennial All-Star appeared to be done after he was passed over last season for the first time in his career. (He almost certainly would have been picked for the 1999 game, which was lost to the lockout.) But he's bounced back to reach a level he hasn't been at since the 2009-10 season, averaging 17.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks with a 24.9 Player Efficiency Rating.
Now in his 16th season, Duncan is enjoying career-highs in free-throw shooting (82.6 percent), blocked shot percentage (6.5) and defensive rebound percentage (29.0).
He ties Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Jerry West for the fifth-most appearances in NBA history. Only Kareem Abdul Jabbar (19), Julius Erving (16 combined NBA/ABA), Shaquille O'Neal (15) and Kevin Garnett (15) had more. Kobe Bryant will also move to 15 should he participate in this year's game, to which he was voted as a starter.
Parker will never reach those levels, but he continues to excel in his 12th NBA season. He leads the Spurs in scoring (19.8 per game) and assists (7.4 per game) while shooting 52 percent from the field with a 22.9 PER — the second-highest of his career.
Duncan, Parker are All-Stars
San Antonio Express-News | Jan 25