Clippers point guard Chris Paul will join power forward Blake Griffin at… (Frederic J. Brown / AFP /…)
The Western Conference coaches rendered a split decision Thursday on the Clippers when it came to selecting All-Star reserves: Chris Paul was in, DeAndre Jordan was out.
The coaches picked Paul to play in the All-Star game Feb. 16 in New Orleans but left out Jordan despite lobbying by Clippers Coach Doc Rivers for inclusion of the NBA's leading rebounder.
Paul has not played since Jan. 3 because of a separated right shoulder that was expected to sideline him for six weeks, but he indicated Thursday that he intended to participate alongside teammate Blake Griffin, who had already been selected a West starter in fan voting.
"My first All-Star game that I played in was in New Orleans, and that city means so much to me," Paul, a former member of the then-New Orleans Hornets, said in a statement. "I look forward to representing the Clippers and playing with Blake."
Paul, a seven-time All-Star, was the game's most valuable player last season. The other West reserves will be Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, Houston's Dwight Howard and James Harden, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki and San Antonio's Tony Parker.
This is Lillard's first All-Star team, while Nowitzki made the team for the 12th time and Howard made it for the eighth time.
Jordan still has an outside chance of being selected because incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver must choose a replacement for injured Lakers star Kobe Bryant and potentially Paul if he is unable to play. Other contenders to complete the West roster — if there are injury spots to fill — include Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans' Anthony Davis, San Antonio's Tim Duncan and Phoenix's Goran Dragic.
Jordan is averaging an NBA-best 13.9 rebounds per game and leads the league with a 64.7 field-goal percentage. It also doesn't hurt that the Clippers are having another good season, currently in fourth place in the West.
There is also the matter of who will replace Bryant in the starting lineup. Oklahoma City Coach Scott Brooks, who will coach the West, can pick anyone on his roster to start alongside the Thunder's Kevin Durant, Minnesota's Kevin Love, Golden State's Stephen Curry and Griffin.
The East reserves will be Miami's Chris Bosh, Indiana's Roy Hibbert, Chicago's Joakim Noah, Washington's John Wall, Atlanta's Paul Millsap, Brooklyn's Joe Johnson and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, the former USC star who will become the first Trojans All-Star since Gus Williams in 1983.
The other first-time All-Stars on the East team are Millsap, a veteran power forward in his eighth season, and Wall, the Wizards point guard who was the first overall pick in the 2010 draft.