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ALL STAR 2016

Pau Gasol will be part of the 2016 All Star Game

With Butler out for up to four weeks with a sprained left knee a space has opened up for the Spaniard. This will be his sixth All Star appearance.

Pau Gasol will take his place in a sixth All-Star Game on Sunday (02:00) in Toronto. The Spanish center replaces his Chicago Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler, who misses out due to injury (sidelined three to four weeks with knee strain). This decision to include Pau comes after the rejection of the coaches to name him in the first instance, a decision he called 'unfair'. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has opted for the Bulls player and this follows a recent fan vote where Gasol came within 360 votes of Carmelo Anthony. So, we can now finally look forward to seeing the Spanish giant at the Air Canada Centre, which will be the first pavillion to house the All Stars weekend outside of the USA.

Although we're not going to see a repeat of the historic feat seen last year when Pau starred alongside his brother Marc Gasol, he will be accompanying his friend Kobe Bryant in what will be the eighteenth and final All Star game for the LA Lakers guard. In addition, the inclusion of Pau ensures that the 2016 NBA All Star game has foreign players forming part of the show. You have to go back to 1984 to witness the last time that only players born in the United States took to the court. In 48 appearances and at the age of 35, Pau has averaged 17 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2 blocks - this has allowed to notch up 29 double-doubles to date.

As of today, Jimmy Butler is the only absence from the original top 24 selected. The Most Improved Player last year, was injured in the game against the Denver Nuggets, but the good news is that the latest medical tests have ruled out anything serious.

Here's a quick recap of the line-ups of both Conferences:

Conference East

Starters: (appearances include 2016)

Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors): 2 times All Star

Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat): 12 times All Star

LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers): 12 times All Star

Paul George (Indiana Pacers): 3 times All star

Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks): 9 times All Star

Substitutes:

John Wall (Washington Wizards): 3 times All Star

Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics): 1 time All Star

DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors): 2 times All Star

Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons): 1 time All Star

Chris Bosh (Miami Heat): 11 times All Star

Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks): 3 times All Star

Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls): 6 times All Star

Coach: Tyronn Lue (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Conference West

Starters:

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors): 3 times All Star

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder): 5 times All Star

Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers): 18 times All Star

Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder): 7 times All Star

Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs): 1 time All Star

Substitutes:

Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers): 9 times All Star

James Harden (Houston Rockets): 4 times All Star

Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors): 2 times All Star

Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors): 1 time All Star

Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans): 3 times All Star

DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings): 2 times All Star

LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs): 5 times All Star

Coach: Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs)