When All-Star reserves were announced last week, DeMarcus Cousins didn’t make the cut. However, there’s still an outside chance he could still make it to New Orleans as an injury replacement. Kobe Bryant, who was voted by fans to start this year’s All-Star Game, will likely sit out the contest because of an injured left knee.
If Bryant or even Chris Paul, who has been sidelined for 17 games because of a separated right shoulder, can’t play, Adam Silver will have the final call on possible stand-ins. During his visit to Sacramento on Wednesday, the new NBA commissioner said he has yet to make a decision on potential injury replacements.
“Not ready to name the replacement yet,” Silver said enthusiastically when asked if Cousins would get the nod as an alternate for any injured All-Stars. “And I’ll rely on the basketball people there. Ultimately it will be my decision, but (NBA president of basketball operations) Rod Thorn‘s been with the league a long time and he’ll make a recommendation to me.”
Silver did say that Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadivé has been lobbying hard on Cousins’ behalf. The new commissioner said with a laugh that Ranadivé spent much of the first quarter of last night’s game raving about the Kings starting center, who recorded his 30th double-double of the season (25 points and 10 rebounds) in a win over the Toronto Raptors.
“I think the commissioner was relieved when somebody else sat next to him,” Ranadivé said with a smile.
This season, Cousins is posting career numbers worthy of All-Star consideration. The Kings starting center is averaging 22.7 points and 11.6 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per game.