DeMarcus Cousins added to the All-Star team

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins smiles at head coach Michael Malone. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Commissioner Adam Silver has spoken – DeMarcus Cousins is an All-Star.

KINGS’ DEMARCUS COUSINS TO REPLACE 

LAKERS’ KOBE BRYANT IN 2015 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2015 – Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Western Conference All-Star Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game in New York City.

Cousins, who will make his first NBA All-Star Game appearance, ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring (23.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (12.3 rpg). Over the last 20 years, only five players — David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kevin Love — have averaged at least 23.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in a season. Cousins is the first Kings’ All-Star since 2004.

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, who earned the right to coach the West squad because the Warriors clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 1, will determine who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup.

The 64th NBA All-Star Game will tip off Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden. The game will be seen by fans in 215 countries and territories and will be heard in 47 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 13th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 30th year of NBA All-Star coverage.

Sometimes an official press release says everything you need to know.  Cousins was a noticeable omission from the reserves that were announced Thursday evening.  But Commissioner Silver acted swiftly to replace Bryant, who is out for the remainder of the year after undergoing surgery on his shoulder earlier this week.

“I’m extremely excited to play in my first All-Star game,” said Cousins via press release. “I appreciate the recognition and want to also thank my teammates and the fans for their support throughout the season. Representing the Kings and the city of Sacramento is a great honor.”

After a rocky season filled with disappointments, Cousins will represent the Kings in New York in a little over two weeks.  This marks the first time Sacramento has an All-Star since 2004, when Peja Stojakovic and Brad Miller were honored.

“This honor is a result of the hard work and determination DeMarcus has shown throughout the season,” Kings head coach Tyrone Corbin said in a release. “He dedicated himself to improving those talents that make him a special player and he is demonstrating every night how unique an athlete he is in this league.”

After the announcement, Cowbell Kingdom reached out to former Sacramento Kings head coach Michael Malone for comment on his previous pupil.

“I am delighted to hear that DeMarcus was named to the All-Star team,” Malone told CK.  “It is a well deserved honor that not only recognizes his immense talents as a player, but also his growth as a young man.  In know this will be the first of many All-Star appearances for DeMarcus as the best is yet to come.  I am proud of DeMarcus and will always have the utmost respect for him as a player and as a person.”

Cowbell Kingdom will be in New York for all of your All-Star Weekend coverage that just got a whole lot more interesting.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".