It turns out that Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves wasn't an NBA All-Star snub after all. The former UCLA Bruin (well, for one year anyway) was named Friday to the Western Conference All-Star team by commissioner David Stern, as a replacement for Houston center Yao Ming, who was voted into the starting lineup but is injured and out for the season. It is the first All-Star selection for Love.
Love is leading the league in rebounds this season, averaging a whopping 15.5 boards per game. In the last 30 years, here is the complete list of players to average 15 rebounds per game in a season: Moses Malone, Kevin Willis, Dennis Rodman (six times, plus another season at 14.9 boards per game), and Ben Wallace. Love is also averaging 21.4 points per contest this season, a career high. Love was excited about getting named to the team:
"This is an incredible honor for me and I'm so proud to be able to represent the Timberwolves organization at one of the league's premier events," Love said. "I'm thankful to Commissioner Stern for giving me his support, as well as to all the great fans in Minnesota who have been behind me and my teammates all season long."
Love joins former UCLA Bruin teammate Russell Westbrook as NBA All-Stars on the Western Conference season. The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 20, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will be televised on TNT.