Kevin Love will replace Yao Ming on the Western Conference's NBA All-Star team, the league announced late Friday. Commissioner David Stern had the option of choosing any player from the West -- not just a big man. But the Minnesota Timberwolves' Love was most frequently mentioned as the All-Star Game's biggest snub after the league announced coaches' reserve choices on Thursday. Love lost out to Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook in coach voting.
Love, a third-year power forward, leads the NBA in rebounding with 15.5 per game. He's on pace to become the first player since Moses Malone to average 20 points and 15 rebounds per game, and he's tallied 34 consecutive double-doubles.
Other options for Stern included Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Suns guard Steve Nash, Lakers forward Lamar Odom and Hornets forward David West. Nash and West have been All-Stars before; Aldridge and Odom, like Love, had never gotten the nod before.
TNT analysts (and Hall of Fame power forwards*) Charles Barkley and Chris Webber stumped vociferously for Love after the NBA's All-Star announcement on Thursday. Stern could get another replacement choice or two: Deron Williams is struggling to get back on the court due to a sprained wrist, and Carmelo Anthony trade rumors remain all the rage. If 'Melo were traded to an Eastern Conference team, Stern would need to name a replacement for the West squad. The East would then carry 13 players.