Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
Late Wednesday afternoon, Stern named Nets center Brook Lopez to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team as a replacement for Rajon Rondo. The Boston Celtics’ point guard and All-Star Game starter, as voted on by the fans, was lost for the season on Sunday with a torn ACL in his right knee.
This year’s All-Star Game is slated for the Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 17.
“First and foremost, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Lopez said in a statement. “They make my job 100 times easier, playing with Deron, Joe, Gerald, they gift wrap me buckets and take a lot of attention away from me on the court. It is some thing I have been working towards and it’s been a goal of mine and it will definitely will be an exciting weekend.”
Lopez is the 13th player in Nets history to be named to the All-Star Game, while this is the second straight year a Net will play in this, one of the league’s showcase events. Deron Williams played in the game last season in Orlando.
Lopez, a first-time All-Star in his fifth season in the league, is having a career year. The 7-foot product from Stanford is averaging 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 38 games this season. The 18.6 points per game is tops among centers league-wide.
He missed seven games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 with a sprained ligament in his right foot. The Nets are 27-18 overall, but went 2-5 without their starting center in that stretch.
“Obviously, we were pulling for one of our guys when Rajon went down,” Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “We were hopeful. We had three candidates, two if they went with a guard and obviously Brook if that’s what the commissioner’s rationale was. I don’t think Brook gets selected if we’re not having the kind of year we’re having. The team feels good about it too and the way they played had a lot to do with Brook getting selected.”
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA