While any Brooklyn Nets will undoubtedly reserve all praise for D'Angelo Russell until he becomes a livelier defender, his All-Star nod is a sure-tell sign he has come a long way since his precarious days as a Los Angeles Laker. The Brooklyn Nets point guard will effectively replace the injured Victor Oladipo in the NBA All-Star waiting pool - where he'll await his appointment to either Team LeBron or Team Giannis in an All-Star draft taking place next Thursday. This is the 2nd year the NBA is going with this format in lieu of the East-West variable - this being the 1st year the selection process will be televised.

Through 52 games, D'Angelo Russell is averaging career highs in basically every statistical category: 19.6 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game, and is shooting at a 37 per cent clip from beyond the arc. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade were added to the All-Star extravaganza as "special additions," their 14th and 13th respectively. It's widely believed that both NBA legends are on their last legs in the league, albeit on the happiest of notes.

NBA observers would wise to factor Russell's performance in the month of January as the "wind of change" by which the NBA All-Star has opened for the young floor general. Within the last month, Russell stats jumped up to 23.8 points and 7.3 assists per game, and he even rinsed the Magic for 40 big ones in a winning effort.