After being snubbed during the initial NBA All-Star player selection, forward Paul George has been named as the replacement for the injured All-Star starter DeMarcus Cousins, who will miss the rest of the season after suffering an Achilles tendon injury Friday.
George was chosen to replace the injured big man because he had the most voting points from head coaches among the Western Conference players who did not make the initial cut of the All-Star roster.
The Thunder forward was glad to hear about the news, but said he wished it came under better circumstances and not because a player got injured. “Obviously, I would have liked to make it under better circumstance — because of an injury I got in,” George said. “But needless to say, I’m happy for this to be my fifth and go alongside Russ [Westbrook] and, you know, be a part of this franchise to hold it down for the Thunder. I’m grateful for this opportunity.”
George will be joining the team that Cavaliers forward LeBron James selected out of the roster that were chosen through votes casted by fans, coaches, and media personnel. Cousins was initially selected as one of the starters for Team LeBron, but the All-Star game coach will be the one to decide who will take his spot in the starting lineup.
Before being named as Cousins’ replacement, George was among several players who many deem to have been snubbed in the NBA All-Star selection. These players include Chris Paul, Andre Drummond, and Lou Williams, who are all having terrific seasons.
Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Westbrook and George’s Thunder teammate vocally protested George’s absence in the All-Star roster, calling it outrageous.
Westbrook called attention to the fact that the Golden State Warriors have four players that were named All-Stars.
“I know you got guys with four people from one team,” said the Thunder point guard. “You got guys complaining about being snubbed so they can get in. You got guys that just talk about it all the time, but the guys that deserve it — should be in it — are not.”