In just his second NBA season, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has been named a reserve for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
At 20, Williamson joins an elite list of players to be named to the NBA All-Star Game aged 20 or younger. As pointed out by ESPN's Andrew Lopez, Williamson is set to become the fourth-youngest player to play in the NBA All-Star Game.
Who was the youngest? Below, find a list of the five youngest All-Stars in NBA history along with more information on their selection and performance in the game.
|Player||Year||Age at All-Star Game||Game stats|
|1.||Kobe Bryant||1998||19 years, 169 days||18 PTS, 6 REB, 2 STL in 22 MIN|
|2.||LeBron James||2005||20 years, 52 days||13 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST in 31 MIN|
|3.||Magic Johnson||1980||20 years, 173 days||12 PTS, 4 AST, 3 STL in 24 MIN|
|4.||Zion Williamson||2021||20 years, 244 days||-|
|5.||Kevin Garnett||1997||20 years, 266 days||6 PTS, 9 REB, 1 BLK in 18 MIN|
Kobe Bryant, 1998
Age: 19 years, 169 days
Bryant, who was drafted at the age of 17, was voted in as an All-Star starter in his second NBA season. He had yet to be named a full-time starter with the Lakers!
The lone teenager to ever appear in an All-Star Game, Bryant made his debut on the game's biggest stage at Madison Square Garden and in many ways, was the centre of attention. He finished with 18 points (on 7-for-16 shooting), six rebounds and two steals in 22 minutes of action.
Bryant went on to appear in 17 more All-Star Games, winning the game's MVP four times - the award is now named in his honour.
Lebron James, 2005
Age: 20 years, 52 days
Voted in as an All-Star in his second season, James put on a show in Denver's Pepsi Center in a game that the East won 125-115. In 31 minutes, he did a little bit of everything to finish with 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
He was voted in as a starter for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, his 17th consecutive start - an NBA record. The leading scorer in NBA All-Star Game history (385 points), James' 17 appearances are third behind only Kobe Bryant (18) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).
Magic Johnson, 1980
Age: 20 years, 173 days
At the time of his selection, Magic was the youngest-ever NBA All-Star. He also made a shortlist of rookies to make the NBA All-Star Game. He only took the court for 24 minutes to finish with 12 points, four assists, two rebounds, and two blocks as the West went down to the East 144-136.
Johnson would make 11 more All-Star teams, winning MVP honours twice in 1990 and 1992.
Zion Williamson, 2021
Congrats @ZionWilliamson - 𝗡𝗕𝗔 𝗔𝗹𝗹-𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿 💪#WontBowDown | #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/YZ5B3SO3x3- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 24, 2021
Age: 20 years, 244 days
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Williamson earned the first All-Star selection of his career in his second NBA season.
With averages of 25.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.1 points through the Pelicans first 29 games, Williamson was named as an All-Star reserve by the league's head coaches. It is sure to be the first of many selections in his career.
Kevin Garnett, 1997
Age: 20 years, 266 days
Added on to the All-Star roster as one of five replacements (Detlef Schrempf, Chris Gatling, Chris Webber, Joe Dumars), Garnett made his first of 15 All-Star appearances in Cleveland in 1997 - just his second season.
He would finish the game with six points, nine rebounds, and an assist in 18 minutes. Of his next 14 appearances, he would win MVP honours in Atlanta in the 2003 All-Star Game, considered among the greatest ever.
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