NEW YORK (AP) — New Orleans forward Anthony Davis was chosen Friday to replace the injured Kobe Bryant in the NBA All-Star game that will be played in his home city.
"It's a great opportunity for me. I'm excited to play in the game," said Davis, who was informed he'd been added to the Western Conference roster by Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "When coach said it. I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. I'm glad they chose me. I'll try to go out and represent New Orleans and the Pelicans."
Davis was nearly chosen as a reserve, but missed by one spot in voting by Western Conference head coaches, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because vote totals were not released.
Speaking before the Pelicans hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves, Davis acknowledged he was disappointed when he was initially left off the roster.
"I was down, but I moved on. I understand that I have a lot more opportunities to try to get in the game," Davis recalled. "Today, it was great."
The 2012 U.S. Olympian ended up getting into the Feb. 16 game at Smoothie King Center when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver chose him to replace Bryant, who was voted by fans to start but is still recovering from a broken knee.
Davis is averaging 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and a league-leading 3.3 blocks for the Pelicans. Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, is also scheduled to play in the Rising Stars Challenge for rookies and second-year players next Friday.