When Eastern Conference All-Star starter Rajon Rondo went down for the season with a torn ACL a player had to be named as a replacement for the Boston Celtics guard. Many fans and pundits debated fiercely about deserving players that were snubbed last week when the All-Star reserves were announced. The Eastern Conference, while not heavy on quality teams is heavy on quality talent.
Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks was a strong candidate to be named as a replacement for Rondo. J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks, Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls were also in the running. Historically teams that are winning are rewarded and the Brooklyn Nets are winning.
Brooklyn (27-18) has the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference and are second in the Atlantic Division behind their rivals, the New York Knicks. Former All-Stars Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are having good seasons for Brooklyn but not great ones. Nets center Brook Lopez was the obvious choice to be selected as an All-Star replacement and Commissioner David Stern did just that.
Lopez will replace Rajon Rondo in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston on February 17, 2013. Lopez is the best scoring center in the NBA putting up 18.6 points per game and the seventh best shot-blocker in the league with 2.2 swats per contest. This will be Lopez’ first All-Star Game.