Pelicans' Davis decides to sit out NBA All-Star game
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Anthony Davis has decided to sit out this Sunday's NBA All-Star game.
The New Orleans Pelicans' power forward explained in a statement released by the club Wednesday night that he wants to focus on his recovery from a sprained right shoulder, which has sidelined him for two games.
''After careful thought and consideration, I've decided I will not be participating in this year's NBA All-Star competitions,'' Davis said. ''I want to thank the fans for voting me into the All-Star game and I am sorry I will not be able to play.
''While I'm disappointed that I won't be able to compete this weekend, I'm still very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the All-Star events in New York and celebrate our game with some of the NBA's greatest figures.''
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki was named to replace him on the team.
Davis, now in his third season out of Kentucky and still only 21 years old, has averaged 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, which leads the Pelicans in all three categories.
Initially, Davis had planned on participating in both the game and All-Star Saturday night. But last Saturday night during a loss to Chicago, Davis lost his grip on the rim while completing an alley-oop dunk, falling about 7 feet horizontally to the hardwood.
He tried to play for a couple minutes after the fall before taking himself out of the game and has not played since.
Davis' announcement came after the Pelicans lost their third straight game, 106-93 to Indiana. Shortly before tip-off, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps presented Davis with a black All-Star jersey, though everyone watching understood that it wasn't clear if he would get to suit up.
The Pelicans (27-26) are still in the hunt for one of the final Western Conference playoff spots, and will need Davis to be healthy for as many of their final 29 regular season games as possible.
''More than anything, I am anxious to get healthy and back on the court with my teammates after the All-Star break,'' Davis said.
Leading up to Davis' decision, coach Monty Williams and Pelicans players made it clear that they would be in favor of Davis playing in the NBA's marquee mid-season event if he was healthy enough by the weekend.
''He could wake up Saturday and feel great,'' Williams had said before Wednesday night's game. ''If he does, he's earned the right to play.''
Pelicans small forward Quincy Pondexter also said he was hoping Davis would play, adding, ''He more than deserves it. It represents our whole team with him being there.''