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Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins has revealed that he is “honoured” to replace Kobe Bryant in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game squad for the Western Conference.
“Kobe’s a legend, we all know that,” Cousins told reporters on Friday. “Filling his shoes in the All-Star Game, it speaks a lot. So, I’m honored.”
It will be Cousins’ first All-Star appearance and it is well deserved as he ranks fifth in scoring with 23.8 points per game and third in rebounding with 12.3 per contest.
While ‘Boogie’ is the first Kings star to receive an All-Star selection since 2004, he is also one of only six players over the last 20 years to have averaged at least 23 points and 12 rebounds in a season along with the likes of David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kevin Love.
“Honestly, I really didn’t expect myself to make it,” Cousins said.
“I mean, the West was so tough this year and there are so many talented guys in the West. But the crazy thing is, me and Dame were texting after the results came out and I was telling him, ‘Man, you know you’re going to make this team, like, it’s nothing.’ It’s just kind of crazy how things worked out.”
Both Cousins and Damian Lillard were considered the two most deserving stars to feature in the game as reserves, but the Portland Trail Blazers star was left “disappointed” and “disrespected” after being snubbed again this year.
Nevertheless, Cousins will now look ahead to All-Star weekend with the showpiece event taking place on February 15 at Madison Square Garden and he insisted that despite feeling sorry for Lillard, “it’s a happy day for me”.