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Anthony Davis selected to fill Kobe Bryant’s All-Star slot in West

Feb 7, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

New Orleans Pelicans v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

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.

  1. mickdamill - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I understand the decision due to game being New Orleans to go with Davis but I feel should have got the pull for votes. The Suns have been riding Gorans coat tails to the playoffs and cant say the same about Davis.

    • nowillrepeat - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Sorry buddy, but Dragic isnt even averaging a double-double.
      Anthony Davis is an absolute beast and the youngest ever to average 20/10/3.
      He might even average 4 blocks a game by the end of the year.
      This is not even a debate.

      • mickdamill - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        Don’t call me buddy pal! In all seriousness this is a team sport and Dragic makes his team better you cant make the point that Davis is helping his team win more games. I’m not trying to take away Davis being a great young player, but as far as effectiveness to win games and control games, I give the vote to Dragic.

      • calkinsrob - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        Im not your buddy friend….. Im not your friend buddy!!! haha

      • nowillrepeat - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:28 PM

        Im not your buddy guy!!!

    • antistratfordian - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Davis would probably get in regardless of the city. He’s having one incredible sophomore season, on both ends of the floor. Dragic may still get in, in any case.

  2. blackhercules718 - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Good move for Kobe not playing in game… who takes Wade’s spot in the East? He’s not healthy enough to play back-to-back games…..he damn sure ain’t healthy enough to risk further injury by playing in a MEANINGLESS exhibition game

  3. naterich21 - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Damn I was really pulling for Dragic to get in since he’s a guard like Kobe. But I understand Davis being the replacement

  4. antistratfordian - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Great decision, Mr. Silver.

  5. ddpenny - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Dragic? ahm ok New Orleans.
    maybe its not too late but
    PS- Chris Paul please stay out. no question you are an all-star.

  6. velocirep - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    20/10, league leading blocks, best player on a half decent team, Olympic team selected, future staple of the NBA vs ?
    Dragic is playing pretty good but better to credit Hornecek with his improvement.
    Coach of the year.
    Cousins? Not nearly as consistant. Give me Davis
    Mr. Silver made the obvious choice here

    • mickdamill - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Guaranteed Davis would not have the same impact on the Suns that Dragic had. To refer to him as a ? lets me know you dont follow the NBA very close.

      • sportsfan18 - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:32 PM

        Sometimes STATS do mean something. MJ has the highest career PER of all time. He was kinda good as we all know.

        LeBron is now number two ALL TIME for highest career PER and he is about to pass MJ. Funny, LBJ is kinda good too.

        LBJ’s PER his rookie season was 18.3
        LBH’s PER for his 2nd season was 25.7

        LBJ’s career PER is 27.7 right now.

        Davis’ PER his rookie season was 21.7
        Davis’ PER so far this season is 26.7

        This kid has had an amazing start to his career. By PER, he began better than both MJ and LBJ.

        Now, NONE of us know how he’ll continue playing as the years go by, but so FAR, his first two season’s (season and a half I know), they have been off the charts good.

        Davis, in his SECOND season in the league right now has the 5th HIGHEST PER in the entire league, let alone the western conference.

        Davis would help ANY team in the league. Now I dislike Kentucky a lot, where he played college ball, as I’m an IU grad but I still gotta give this kid his due…

  7. imthedudedude - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Davis deserved to go originally. But Dragic def deserved it more as the replacement. The voting process is completely screwed and should be a vote of the players and coaches… ONLY

  8. kb2408 - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Good for the young fella….he’s on his way to becoming a superstar. Question: take LBJ, Paul George and KD out of the equation, if you’re taking one “big fella” to start your team with, who are you taking? I am taking The Brow, or Andre Drummond. If Damarcus C had a better head on his shoulders he would also be in the discussion.

    • savvybynature - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      You don’t have to take anyone out of the equation for me and Davis still a top-3 layer to build a franchise around. I’m going KD, Lebron and The Brow in that order.
      (Note: This is not a list of who I think are the best players right now, but who I would build a franchise around. Those are not the same things. Age and other factors come into play in terms of franchise building.)

  9. 1forest1 - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    There is no doubt Dragic should be an all star. The suns are in the position they’re in because of him, but Davis is more than deserving for the spot

  10. money2long - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    anthony must like that he’s surrounded by all stars again, see olympics.
    the more he surrounds himself with them, the more his game will improve by the experience.

  11. rastaraider - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Yes!!! Anthony Davis deserves it
    Kobe is a has been
    Sorry laker fans ha

    • strictlythedanks - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      hes a bum

  12. billtetley53 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Kb2408 sure spends an inordinate time thinking about youn, large, sweaty black men. Thats pretty creepy.

    • stephenlin - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      i know your thing is insipid drivel, but seriously, man. what’s wrong with you?

  13. velocirep - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Dragic isn’t a nobody but don’t drop the all-star bar to let good players in. Dragic is in his 7th year and has been given great confidence and put in position to be effective by a great new coach and person in Hornecek and good ownership.

    I love his game, but If dragic were an all-star, he’d be on the all-star team.. He isn’t. He doesn’t deserve to be. He is a very good player. Not there yet though, sorry but it’s a 12 man squad, thanks for coming out.

  14. svupper - Feb 8, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Now we just need to get Lance Stephenson instead of Joe Johnson and it all of a sudden looks like a fair all start selection again..

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