New Orleans forward Anthony Davis was chosen Friday to replace the injured Kobe Bryant in the NBA All-Star Game that will be played in his home city.
Davis was nearly chosen as a reserve, but missed by one spot in voting by Western Conference head coaches, a person with knowledge of the details told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because vote totals were not released.
The 2012 U.S. Olympian ended up getting into the Feb. 16 game at Smoothie King Center when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver chose him to replace Bryant, who was voted by fans to start but is still recovering from a broken knee.
Davis is averaging 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and a league-leading 3.3 blocks for the Pelicans. Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, is also scheduled to play in the Rising Stars Challenge for rookies and second-year players next Friday.
Western Conference coach Scott Brooks of Oklahoma City will decide who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup.
BYNUM JOINS PACERS — Andrew Bynum joined the Indiana Pacers for the first time since signing a week ago.
Bynum participated in the team’s shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday morning as the Pacers prepared for their game against Portland on Friday night.
A snowstorm kept the 7-foot center from landing in Indianapolis sooner, and Pacers coach Frank Vogel expects to take “a few weeks” to get Bynum ready to play in a game.
“We’ll come back from the All-Star break and see how practices go over the next week or two after that before we decide if he’s ready,” Vogel said. “We want to make sure he’s comfortable.”
Bynum played in 24 games this season with the Cavaliers before being suspended indefinitely by the team in December.
“It’s a winning atmosphere,” Bynum said. “Obviously, when they have the staff that they have here and the legend Larry Bird, things run correctly. It’s a lot easier to fit in here and be positive when the atmosphere is already that way.”
He hasn’t done much since leaving the Cavs.
“Just relaxing at home and that’s it,” he said.
When asked if he kept a workout routine during his time off, Bynum said, “Not really.”
SUNS’ PLUMLEE TO PLAY — Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee was selected Friday to replace injured Atlanta Hawks center Pero Antic in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.
Plumlee is averaging 9.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 49 games this season, his second in the NBA.