January 30, 2017, 11:40 am
In his ninth year in the league, All-NBA defender DeAndre Jordan was finally rewarded with his first career selection to the All-Star game. It’s well deserved for Jordan, who had resigned himself to a vacation instead of heading to New Orleans for All-Star festivities.
In an interview with Marc J. Spears over at The Undefeated, Jordan revealed that he had booked himself a trip to Hawaii over the break and was surprised to find out that he’d been given the nod. It’s a nice feather in the cap for Jordan, who will be making the traditionally offense-minded showcase on the back of defensive acumen and sheer athleticism. That combination of skills doesn’t earn too many All-Star bids, something the Clippers center was well aware of:
“I know my value around the league. I know my teammates respect me and guys around the league do, too. I wasn’t concerned about it anymore. After three years I was like, ‘All right, cool.’ Starting three years ago, I was looking forward to my vacation, hanging out and supporting my teammates who did go. It’s my ninth season, but better late than never.”
And on the subject of standing out for great defense:
“It’s hit-and-miss. You are valued and respected throughout the league from players and coaches. There are people that don’t know the game of basketball except for points, flash, highlights and all that s—. It’s not really looked at that way. People that really know the game of basketball know what is good and what is not.”
While it’s fair to argue that Rudy Gobert should’ve gotten the nod this season, it’s nice to see Jordan rewarded for years of elite play. Perhaps his inclusion will open the door for defensive stalwarts like Gobert in the future.
As for the other festivities during All-Star weekend, Jordan has been approached about entering the Dunk Contest but hasn’t decided one way or the other just yet.
DJ says he's been asked to be in dunk contest and is considering it
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 30, 2017
It might be odd seeing DJ throw down without receiving lobs, but someone of his caliber entering the contest would be a welcome sight. Please do it, DeAndre.