NEW YORK — All signs were pointing toward Kevin Durant getting the start in Sunday’s All-Star Game in place of the injured Anthony Davis, including Durant himself thinking that would be the case.
But Kerr had a change of heart.
Kerr has selected Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge to get the start on Sunday night.
That’s a huge coup for Aldridge, a guy who struggled to get recognized despite years of fantastic play up in Portland. Portland was going to build around Aldridge and Brandon Roy until Roy’s knees gave out, but now it is Aldridge and Damian Lillard.
Through it all Aldridge has been as good and consistent a power forward as the league has seen. This year is fourth straight All-Star Game. (Check back later in the week at PBT for our exclusive interview with Aldridge.)
West coach Steve Kerr had three starters to replace — Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Davis were all voted in by the fans but can’t play due to injury. Commissioner Adam Silver picked the roster replacements, but Kerr gets to choose the starters.
James Harden and Klay Thompson were chosen to replace Kobe and Griffin, but it took a while for the decision to be made on replacing Davis. Aldridge may be a better fit in terms of balance; now the West has three guards (Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Harden) balanced by two big men, Aldridge and Marc Gasol. Then again, it’s an exhibition, so the balance isn’t that important.
Kerr just went with a very deserving guy.