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Adebayo confirmed to start first-ever NBA All-Star game

Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo is set to make history as he joins the Eastern Conference starting lineup for the NBA All-Star Game for the first time.

The announcement came on Saturday, February 17, with Adebayo stepping in for Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, who is sidelined due to a knee injury.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Doc Rivers, leading the Eastern team in the All-Star Game, personally informed Adebayo of the selection on Saturday morning.

Adebayo expressed his excitement, saying, “It’s going to be a dope experience,” and expressing gratitude to his supporters.

Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo

This isn’t Adebayo’s first All-Star appearance, having been selected as a reserve in 2020 and 2023. He also won the skills competition at All-Star weekend in 2020.

Adebayo will be the seventh player to start as an All-Star for the Miami Heat, following in the footsteps of legends like Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Rivers explained his decision, stating that with Embiid out, Adebayo was the clear choice.

“My lineup decision was easy,” Rivers said. “I looked at Big Joel out, what other (center) do we have on the team, and Bam got the honor. It’s good for him, too. It’s funny, I told him in locker room. He didn’t know. I thought he knew because I told the league yesterday that he did know. You could tell he was very happy about it.”

Adebayo’s selection adds to his impressive resume, which includes being a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won gold in Tokyo in 2021.

Known for his defensive prowess, Adebayo has been a four-time All-Defensive team member and has consistently ranked high in defensive player of the year voting.

This season, he’s been averaging impressive numbers across the board, with 20.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1 block per game, marking his first season as Miami’s captain. Adebayo’s exceptional performance has solidified his place among the NBA elite.

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