Duke University Alumni Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Zion Williamson Create History at NBA All-Star Game 2021

Published 03/08/2021, 5:15 AM EST
Mar 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Team Durant guard Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets (11) handles the ball against Team LeBron guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (30) during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


Duke University is one of the most renowned programs in Division I basketball. The Blue Devils have a long history of sending talented players to the NBA and three of them just made history at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. 

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What’s the significance between Duke and the All-Star Game? Well, the 2021 edition of the ASG took place under complicated circumstances, and three former Blue Devils made a unique piece of NBA history. 

Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Zion Williamson make Duke proud at NBA All-Star Game 2021

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What was so special about Irving, Tatum, and Williamson? Well, these three former Duke players all received starting rights at the NBA All-Star Game 2021. The added significance is that they started for the same team and that is the first such instance in NBA history. 

The All-Star game had never seen three starters on the same team sharing the same alma mater until today. Hence, it was a special night for Duke University too, when Irving, Tatum, and Williamson started the 2021 All-Star game. 

Kyrie Irving is the senior amongst the three former Duke athletes. Irving was a Blue Devil during the 2010-11 season, and the other two also attended the school on a one-and-done basis. 

It has only been two years since Zion Williamson left Duke. He bolstered the Blue Devils’ lineup as a freshman and averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in 33 games. 

Irving stole the show by outperforming the other two Duke alums at ASG

Kyrie Irving was the senior-most Duke alum present at the All-Star Game 2021, and he was also the highest point-getter among the three. The Nets guard outscored both Tatum and Williamson. 

Irving played 32 minutes as a starter and finished with 24 points, five rebounds, and 12 assists to his name. Tatum, meanwhile, scored 21 points, while Williamson finished with 10.

Mar 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Team Durant guard Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets (11) shoots the ball against Team LeBron forward Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers (11) during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

However, all these efforts came at a losing cause in the end. Team Durant proved to be no match for Team LeBron and lost all four quarters in the game. It was a completely dominant performance from the team led by LeBron James as they won 170-150. 

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Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 35 points and collected the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP award to conclude the 2021 All-Star Weekend. 

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Arjun Athreya

1924 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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