By Ben Golliver
Snubbed no more.
The NBA announced Wednesday that Nets center Brook Lopez will replace Celtics guard Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, marking his first career selection. The Celtics announced Sunday that Rondo will undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee. Commissioner David Stern selects all injury replacements for the All-Star Game.
Lopez, identified by The Point Forward's Rob Mahoney as the biggest All-Star snub this year, is averaging 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. He ranks fourth in the NBA with a 25.23 Player Efficiency Rating, trailing only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. The Nets, who entered Wednesday's game against Miami with a 27-18 record, did not have an All-Star until Lopez's addition. Earlier this month, Lopez was included on The Point Forward's list of most deserving first-time All-Star candidates. Lopez, 24, signed a four-year contract with the Nets worth a reported $60.8 million last summer.
The New York Post reported over the weekend that Lopez was surprised that no Nets were included on the original Eastern Conference roster.
“I was a little disappointed that there was no one from our team at all,” Lopez said, who scored 18 points and had three blocks. “It’s tough for me to envision a team with the best players in the Eastern Conference not include Deron [Williams] or Joe [Johnson].”
Rondo, 26. was picked as a starting backcourt player for the East during a fan vote -- a fairly worthy choice. Rondo's replacement in the starting lineup has not been announced, but it is generally expected to be Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving. 2013 marked Rondo's fourth career All-Star selection.
Here are the updated rosters for the All-Star Game, set for Sunday, Feb. 17, at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Eastern Conference: Carmelo Anthony (Knicks), Chris Bosh (Heat), Tyson Chandler (Knicks), Luol Deng (Bulls), Kevin Garnett (Celtics), Paul George (Pacers), Jrue Holiday (Sixers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), LeBron James (Heat), Brook Lopez (Nets), Joakim Noah (Bulls) and Dwyane Wade (Heat).Western Conference: LaMarcus Aldridge Kobe Bryant Lakers Tim Duncan Spurs Thunder Blake Griffin Clippers James Harden Rockets Dwight Howard David Lee Warriors Tony Parker Zach Randolph Grizzlies Russell Westbrook