Pelicans

Pelicans’ All-Star Torch Passed to Zion

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A franchise since 2002, the New Orleans basketball franchise has had a pretty good taste of the All-Star Game with 17 total selections over 18 years.

Jamal Mashburn was the first player in Pelicans history to become an All-Star in the 2002 season. He was followed up the next year by not one, but two selections in Baron Davis and Jamaal Magloire. Chris Paul racked up four-straight selections as a member of the New Orleans Hornets and his teammate David West received back-to-back appearances; the only two of his career. 

With 20-year-old Zion Williamson getting his first All-Star nod tonight, let’s look back at the past nine all-star selections New Orleans has had since 2013, when the franchise changed from the New Orleans Hornets to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans’ Past Nine All-Star Performances

Spoiler alert– most of these belong to Anthony Davis.

2013-2014

Anthony Davis – Age 20

  • Season Stats : 20.8 PPG / 10 RPG / 2.8 BPG / 52% FG
  • ASG Performance : Minutes – 9:34 / 10 points on 5/6 shooting with one rebound and two steals
  • Season Summary : Fresh off his ROY runner-up and first team All-Rookie selection, Anthony Davis got his first All-Star nomination in his sophomore season. Davis improved his PPG by seven and took on a bigger role with the departure of Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez. AD had his first 40-point game of his career in a overtime win against the Celtics. The young Pelicans also had a seven-win improvement from the season before but still finished 12th in the West with a 34-48 record.

2014-2015

Anthony Davis – Age 21

  • Season Stats : 24.4 PPG / 10.2 RPG / 2.9 BPG / 53.5% FG
  • ASG Performance : DNP due to injury
  • Season Summary : Back-to-back All-Star selections for the 21-year-old, Davis slowly started his ascension to becoming a top-10 player in the league. AD was 5th in MPG, behind the likes of LeBron James, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. He also led the league in BPG for the second-straight season. The Pelicans made an 11-win improvement from the past season and finished 45-37, clinching their first playoff berth in four seasons. They proceeded be swept by the eventual NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.

2015-2016

Anthony Davis – Age 22

  • Season Stats : 24.3 PPG / 10.3 RPG / 2 BPG
  • ASG Performance : Minutes – 15:19 / 24 points on 12/13 shooting with six rebounds and one steal
  • Season Summary : Securing his third-straight All-Star spot, Davis added a new threat to his game. He shot 32% from three on two attempts a game. AD also had his third-straight season with 20+ PPG, 10+ RPG, 2+ BPG. This put him in comparison with Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, who also put up this statline. More impressively, Davis and Shaq were the only 21-year-olds to do it. The Pelicans regressed as a team with a 30-52 record and finished 12th in the West, however.

2016-2017

Anthony Davis – Age 23

  • Season Stats : 28 PPG / 11.8 RPG / 2.2 BPG / 50.5% FG
  • ASG Performance : Minutes – 31:50 / 52 points on 26/39 shooting with 10 rebounds and two steals
  • Season Summary : With his fourth straight All-Star appearance, Anthony Davis proved he was here to stay. Davis broke Wilt Chamberlain‘s 55-year record of points scored in the All-Star game by 10 points. He also broke the All-Star game record for FG made with 26, beating Blake Griffin‘s previous record of 19. Davis put the league on notice in the first regular-season game with 50 points, 15 rebounds, five steals and four blocks. Even with a strong season by AD, the Pelicans still finished 34-48 and 10th in the Western Conference.

2017-2018

Anthony Davis – Age 24

  • Season Stats : 28.1 PPG / 11.1 RPG / 2.6 BPG / 53% FG
  • ASG Performance : Minutes – 16:40 / 12 points on 6/9 shooting with two rebounds and one assist
  • Season Summary : Paired with three-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, Davis reached the next level with his second playoff appearance and best season win total of his career. Davis improved statistically as well with career-highs in PPG, FG% and 3PT%. Without Cousins in the playoffs, AD averaged 30.1 PPG/13.4 RPG/2.0 SPG/2.3 BPG throughout two series. The Pelicans finished 6th in the West with a 48-34 record, including a sweep of the Blazers in the first round of playoffs.

DeMarcus Cousins – Age 27

  • Season Stats : 25.2 PPG / 12.9 RPG / 1.6 BPG / 1.6 SPG
  • ASG Performance : DNP due to injury
  • Season Summary : This was Boogie’s fourth All-Star selection and first with the Pelicans. Side by side with AD, Cousins was even more dominant than before. He had three 40+ point games and five 20+ rebound games, twice happening in the same game. In his first game of the season, he posted a statline of 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks (career-high). He also got his career high in steals with seven in a game against the Knicks. Cousins’ season was ended on January 26th when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon.

2018-2019

Anthony Davis – Age 25

  • Season Stats : 25.9 PPG / 12 RPG / 2.4 BPG / 51.7% FG
  • ASG Performance : Minutes – 4:53 / five points on 2/2 shooting with one rebound
  • Season Summary : Davis received his sixth All-Star selection in his seventh season and his last as a member of the Pelicans. In his last season with the team, he averaged a career-high in rebounds, steals and assists per game. He also had a career-high and franchise-record 26 rebounds in a game against the Nets. But due to turmoil with the team and a public trade request, AD only played 56 games of the season. The Pelicans finished 13th in the West at 33-49.

2019-2020

Brandon Ingram – Age 22

  • Season Stats : 23.8 PPG / 5.3 RPG / 4.7 APG / 39% 3pt
  • ASG Performance : Minutes – 8:33 / two points on 1/4 shooting with one rebound, one assist and one steal
  • Season Summary : BI was selected as a reserve to his first All-Star game and was drafted by Giannis Antetokounmpo with the 19th pick in the All-Star Draft. Ingram had a career high in points in 2019 when he dropped 49 against the Utah Jazz in an overtime win. The former No. 2 overall pick and the Pelicans finished 13th in the West with a record of 30-42.

The spotlight now turns to Zion, who becomes the fourth Pelican to bestow the all-star honor. With this morning’s revelation of Joel Embiid being sidelined due to COVID contact tracing protocol, Williamson joins Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving and Bradley Beal in Team Durant’s starting five.

Averaging 25.6 points (61% FG, 31% 3PT, 69% FT), 7.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in the first half of his sophomore season, Zion is sure to shine amongst the NBA’s best Sunday night in Atlanta.

Follow us on Twitter @PelicansLead for the latest Pelicans news and insight. 

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About Brian Hunter Vollman

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