Anthony Davis was named to the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve.
The NBA’s coaches voted Davis into the game Thursday night, making it Davis’ third straight appearance in the All-Star Game. He’s just the second player in franchise history to do so.
He joins forwards Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and LaMarcus Aldridge along with guards Klay Thompson, James Harden and Chris Paul.
While the honor is significant for Davis, it won’t affect the lucrative extension on his contract, because he wasn’t elected by the fans to be a starter. If Davis is not named to one of the three All-NBA teams after the season, he will miss out on the “Derrick Rose Rule” which would allow him to command an extra $23 million on the five-year deal.
Davis is averaging 22.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, which ranks 10th and 9th in the NBA respectively. His 23 double-doubles are the eighth most in the league despite missing five games entirely and parts of four others because of injury.
“Obviously our record is not where we anticipated, and obviously a lot of the injuries have to do with that,” coach Alvin Gentry said before the announcement. “But as far as his play, he’s playing at a real high level and when you look at what he brings to our team and what he means to our team and the level that he plays at, I’d be very shocked if he wasn’t on the All-Star team.”
Building up Bryce
A week after getting called up from the D-League, Bryce DeJean-Jones started Thursday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
Injuries to Eric Gordon (broken finger) and Tyreke Evans (knee) thrust DeJean-Jones from the end of the bench into a critical role as he nears the completion of his 10-day contract. DeJean-Jones spent both preseason and Summer League with the Pelicans, making him a natural addition to the roster as injuries began to pile up.
“He is very familiar with what we are trying to do, despite the fact we’ve added some things,” Gentry said. “He’s an athletic guy and a pretty good defender and a decent shooter. I think all of those things are good and allow us to keep Jrue (Holiday) in the role we love having him (off of the bench).”
DeJean-Jones played important fourth-quarter minutes in the Monday’s loss to Houston Rockets, hauling in four rebounds in six minutes during a 112-111 loss.
“You just kind of prepare for anything when you’re on a 10-day,” DeJean-Jones said earlier in the week. “It’s an unfortunate situation with those two guys going out, but I just have to be focused and ready for my name to be called any moment.”
Gentry said he didn’t recall a specific time he’s ever had to start a player on a 10-day contract, but didn’t think it was unprecedented. DeJean-Jones made the most of the opportunity, delivering a tomahawk dunk and a wing 3-pointer in the opening quarter, forcing the Kings to take a timeout.
“Hey, if we call a guy up on a 10-day contract, we want him to earn his money,” Gentry joked. “We put him to work.”
Down with the sickness
The Kings were without coach George Karl, who was suffering from gastroenteritis which kept him away from the Smoothie King Center.
Karl was replaced by associate head coach Chad Iske, who served in the interim role for Karl.
“This morning in our meeting he seemed to be okay, but over at shoot-around he sat on the side and wasn’t as talkative as he normally is,” Iske said. “We usually go to lunch down here and he just went straight to his room, so I knew he was in bad shape.”
Karl is the fourth different member of the Kings to come down with gastroenteritis this season, joining Rudy Gay, Omri Casspi and Kosta Koufos.
“Mainly (Karl) just told me to have fun and trust that we’ve been together for a long time and I know what he wants,” Iske said. “We are usually on the same page. He said, ‘Just go enjoy it, and go get a win.’ ”