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Bulls Jimmy Butler named an NBA All-Star reserve

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Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler

CHICAGO – The announcement of the starters for the All-Star game didn’t bring much good news to the Bulls last Thursday but there was hope a week later that someone from the team might get into the NBA’s midseason classic.

That hope came true for one Bulls player and not for another.

On Thursday night the NBA named guard Jimmy Butler was named a reserve for the Eastern Conference team in the NBA All-Star Game. His teammate Pau Gasol, who narrowly missed being named a starter, was not selected.

Butler has now been named an All-Star his last two seasons and it marks the seventh-straight All-Star game to feature a Chicago Bull.

The All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, February 14th at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and is the first

Butler is enjoying the finest season of his career after signing a five-year, 95 million dollar contract in the offseason. He’s averaging 22.3 points per game along with 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists a contest, with two of the three categories (points, assists) on track for career highs.  He scored 53 points on January 14th, the highest amount for a Bulls player in a decade.

Gasol, who missed out on being named an All-Star starter by just 360 votes to the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, is averaging 16.6 points and 10.9 rebounds in his second season with the Bulls. Both numbers are a bit off from his first season in Chicago when he averaged 18.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

In 2015 Gasol’s efforts led to him being named to a fifth All-Star game. He also made the game in 2006 with the Grizzlies and 2009-2011 with the Lakers.

As for Butler, he’ll join Paul Millsap of the Hawks, DeMarcus DeRozen of the Raptors, Chris Bosh of the Heat, John Wall of the Wizards and Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics on the Eastern Conference bench for the game.

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