We told you earlier in the week it was coming down to two guys: Anthony Davis of the Pelicans or Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns.
Kobe Bryant was voted an All-Star starter by the fans but can’t play due to his fractured knee, so the league office picks the replacement — meaning new commissioner Adam Silver gets the final call. Dragic and Davis were the clear finalists (with all due respect to DeMarcus Cousins, who could have been in the mix if Davis wasn’t the hometown guy).
Do you replace a guard with a guard? In that case Dragic was the best all (just edging out Mike Conley of the Grizzlies). Or, do you put in a deserving big man who got the most votes from the coaches of any replacement who didn’t make the team, and who just happens to play for New Orleans, where the All-Star Game is being hosted this year?
Silver chose Davis, the league has announced. (Sam Amick of the USA Today did break the story before it became official.)
This isn’t a surprise; the buzz around the league had been that Davis was most likely to get the spot.
The NBA is about marketing, so what did you expect? Of course they chose the good hometown story.
That said, Davis is deserving. He is averaging 20.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and a league-leading 3.3 blocks a game this season for the Pelicans. He has a PER of 27.1 — fifth best in the NBA on the season, which is ridiculous for a guy in his second season. He is having a monster season for a young Pelicans team.
Plus, Davis might bring a few blocked shots and a little defense to the All-Star Game. That would be a nice change of pace.