Dirk Nowitzki will be in the All-Star Game after all. The Dallas Mavericks veteran was named an injury replacement for New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis as Davis recovers from a strained shoulder he suffered on a scary fall Saturday against the Chicago Bulls. This will be Nowitzki's 13th All-Star nod.
Nowitzki is having another fine season in Dallas at age 36. He's averaging 18.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while posting a PER of 20.72. Nowitzki is still very much the face of the Mavericks, who are fifth in the Western Conference standings at 36-19 this year.
"It is always an honor to represent the Mavs at the All-Star Game," Nowtizki said in a statement released by the team on Wednesday night. "This year it threw a little bit of a wrench into my plans, but I am very excited. Even though it was unexpected I am looking forward to being a part of the festivities in New York."
Davis is the third All-Star starter in the West who had to be replaced because of injury. Kobe Bryant will also miss the game with a shoulder injury, while Blake Griffin is out with an elbow injury. James Harden and Klaync Thompson have been named as starters in the wake of Griffin and Bryant's injuries. Western Conference All-Stars coach Steve Kerr will select who starts for Davis.