Kevin Love’s replacement in the Eastern Conference lineup has finally been confirmed. After days of speculation as to will take the spot in the NBA All-Star game, the association announced on Wednesday that Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks will replace the Cleveland Cavaliers forward.
Earlier on Wednesday, sources revealed to ESPN, which was confirmed by Adam Schefter, that Commissioner Adam Silver offered the position of Kevin Love’s replacement to Anthony, who accepted it. This would be Anthony’s 10th time to be selected for the All-Star game.
Anthony averages 23.2 points, with 2.9 assists and 6.1 rebounds in the 55 games he played this season. This record makes him the easiest pick as a replacement for Kevin Love, who had to undergo rehab after his knee surgery.
Prior to accepting the invite as a replacement for the injured Kevin Love, Carmelo expressed how he would rather have his teammate Kristaps Porzingis play for the Eastern Conference. Porzingis was one of the candidates likely to replace Love since Carmelo was uninterested at that time. Melo even said he would love to see Porzingis represent the team.
Anthony had planned to take a break with his family and go on a vacation. When asked if he would be willing to act as Love’s replacement, he initially told the media that it’s a matter to discuss with his family.
“That’s something that I have to talk to my family about. I would really like to kind of just utilize this break now that I already put in my mind that I wasn’t going…. I can use this break physically. Mentally, I think I can use this break.”
Somehow, along the way, something has changed his mind.
Anthony placed eighth in the overall voting by fans, players, and the media, according to NBC Sports. He was sixth to be voted by fans and players and the 12th pick by the media. He even came next to Porzingis but he was the top pick among fans not in the game, the report mentioned.
Another prospect for Kevin Love’s replacement was Joel Embiid, center for the Philadelphia 76ers, but Embiid is also out for knee issues. Instead, Silver, who also had to pick from Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons, went for Anthony.
Anthony is still grateful for the opportunity to be named as Kevin Love’s replacement, even if he had to cancel the plans for a family vacation.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an honor to be an All-Star, to represent our organization and New York City. I was looking forward to my break. It’s life. Things happen in life. You got to make decisions.”
As for Kevin Love, the 28-year-old would have played for the fourth time in the All-Star game, had he not been injured. Love had his left knee operated on Feb. 14. The Cleveland Cavaliers estimated that Kevin will return to the court in about six weeks.
Not only is Carmelo named as Kevin Love’s replacement but he has also been the subject of various trade rumors. Reports stated that the Knicks had approached at least three teams about discussions of a potential trade with Anthony. These teams include LA Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.
There was even a request from the Knicks to trade Melo for Kevin Love. However, sources told ESPN that the Cavs rejected the request. Amidst trade rumors, Carmelo expects to remain a Knick even after the trade deadline on Feb. 23, saying that he has not thought about going anywhere.
[Featured Image by Phil Long/AP Images]