Even though the Eastern Conference lost a point guard in Rajon Rondo, the NBA righted one wrong this All-Star season. Prior to the Nets' nationally-televised game against the Miami Heat, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that Brook Lopez would fill Rondo's vacated roster spot.
Based on Brooklyn's 27-18 record, good for fourth in the East, and Lopez's individual statistics, he should have made the team outright. Kevin Garnett (fan vote), Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler, and Joakim Noah were all selected to the Eastern Conference's frontcourt, but one can make the argument that none of those players is as important to his team as Lopez.
At the time of the selections, Lopez led all NBA centers in scoring and ranked fourth in the PER player-efficiency ranking. He fell behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul.
"It's a huge honor. First and foremost I couldn't have done it without my teammates," Lopex said prior to the game. "They make my job 100-times easier.
"It will definitely be an exciting weekend."
Nets fans can tune in to see Lopez in action at the Toyota Center in Houston from Feb. 15-17. Lopez will forever hold the distinction of becoming the first Brooklyn Net named to the All-Star game.
General manager Billy King lamented that Lopez was omitted from the original roster.
"What he's done for us on offense and defense... it's a disgrace that (Brook) wasn't put on the team," King said.
The road to the All-Star game was a long and arduous one.
Lopez endured a 12-70 season, six different coaches (Lawrence Frank, Tom Barrise, John Loyer, Kiki Vandeweghe, Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo, and a broken foot that limited him to five games in 2011-12.
Lopez has also seen it all with the Nets franchise, including three different arenas and constant trade speculation regarding center Dwight Howard.
All Lopez did was deliver a first half of the 2012-13 season that was better than Howard's.
The early-arriving Barclays Center crowd delivered strong applause when radio play-by-play man Chris Carrino informed the crowd of Lopez's selection.