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D’ANGELO RUSSELL NAMED TO ALL-STAR TEAM

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Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

D’Angelo Russell will be going to the All-Star Game after all.

The Nets point guard has been selected for the East squad by the Commissioner’s office to replace Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, who was is out for the season. It is DLo’s first all-star game and the first appearance by a Nets in the mid-season classic since Joe Johnson was chosen five years ago.

Shams Charania broke the news...

And the Nets confirmed minutes later with a congratulatory tweet...

Russell found out on the team plane. “(Kenny Atkinson) was the first one to break it to me. I was in awe on the plane. I’m a crier, honestly. I was holding my tears in.”

Atkinson said the honor was well-deserved.

“Fantastic. Fantastic for D’Angelo first of all, fantastic for the Nets organization. It’s a great honor. Never take that away from him, being an All-Star. That’s really, really special.”

DLo thanked those who had helped him in his journey.

“The coaches that I’ve had, my teammates that I’ve met throughout this journey, it’s something that you can’t take away,” said Russell. “It almost feels like a degree. You can’t take that away from somebody. You get that one All-Star, two, you never know when you’re going to get that opportunity again. So I’m forever blessed for that.”

Russell, 22, has been the Nets leader and leading scorer throughout their turnaround season. For the season, he’s averaging 19.6 points a game, shooting 44/37/81. However, the 6’5” DLo has picked up lately, averaging 23.8 points and 7.3 assists in January and 25.6 and 7.2 assists. He’s shot better than 40 percent from three during both those spans.

The selection is a credit to Russell and the man who faith in, Nets GM Sean Marks. Marks traded for Russell just before the 2017 NBA Draft, sending Brook Lopez, the team’s all time leading scorer and a first rounder that became Kyle Kuzma to the Lakers for Russell and Timofey Mozgov, who the Nets unloaded last July.

Both Marks and Kenny Atkinson never wavered in their support for Russell who missed 34 games to a knee issue last season, then started slowly (as did the rest of the team) this year.

Russell hit some big milestones during the Nets 20-7 run, including three games with 30 points, seven assists and no turnovers as well as four games —three in the last two weeks— where he hit seven or more three pointers in a game.

As the Nets later noted, Russell’s selection makes some marks.

The 2019 All-Star game will be played on Sunday, February 17th, at 8:00 PM on TNT.

And, of course, a shirt:

Russell is a restricted free agent this summer. And his price tag just got higher. Good for him.