DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
When Anthony Davis (shoulder sprain) of New Orleans on Wednesday pulled out of the Feb. 15 All-Star game in New York City, chances looked good that NBA commissioner Adam Silver would select DeAndre Jordan to replace him. Instead, Silver picked Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
Jordan on Wednesday had his third 20-20 game in nine days, coming away with 24 points and 20 rebounds in a 110-95 victory over the Houston Rockets. It was his sixth game of the season with at least 20 rebounds. Rivers was not one bit happy with Silver’s decision. But he didn’t blame Nowitzki.
“Well, I don’t look at it as Dirk being selected over him, I just think D.J. should be on the All-Star team,” said Rivers, whose 35-19 team takes a two-game winning streak into the All-Star break. “I think it’s a travesty, I really do.
“Dirk deserves to be on the All-Star team every year, as far as I’m concerned. So you can never have anything against him. He’s been a great player throughout his career. I just think a guy that’s getting 27 and 22 and 20s and 20s and is not on the team …”
Jordan had 27 points and 22 rebounds in Monday’s win at Dallas. Rivers paused for a moment, and continued.
“What I keep saying about D.J. that I don’t like is, you play both sides of the floor and just the one side of the floor keeps getting all the credit, and not the other side of the floor,” Rivers said. “And the other side is more important. There has never been a team that won a championship without being a decent defensive team or a great defensive team.
“Yet that side keeps getting forgotten about in the All-Star game. I think every year they should put the best defender on. They put the best offensive player on, every year. They should think about putting the best defensive player on every year on both sides – East and the West. Then that would be solved.”
Jordan was just 12th in fan voting for frontcourt players and was not picked as a reserve by Western Conference coaches. Nowitzki was ninth in fan voting.
Jordan, in his seventh season, has never made an All-Star team. But he suggested he’s not going to lose any sleep over this latest snub.
“No,” he said, when asked if he was frustrated. “Next year I just have to average 20 points a game. I’m happy for Dirk. At this point, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve moved on. It’s cool.”
Jordan is averaging a league-high 13.8 rebounds and 2.35 blocks, second to Davis’ 2.74. But Jordan averages just 10.7 points and is a terrible free-throw shooter (41.4 percent). Nowitzki averages 18.3 points and 6.0 rebounds.