Cavs' center Allen named All-Star replacement for Harden
Cleveland — Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen will replace James Harden at this year's All-Star Game.
Allen, who has been having a strong second season with Cleveland, was chosen to take the place of the injured Harden by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Monday.
Allen will join teammate Darius Garland for this year's event in Cleveland, giving the Cavs two All-Stars for the first time since 2018.
Harden is dealing with a left hamstring issue that is delaying his debut with the Philadelphia 76ers. Harden, who was chosen by coaches as an All-Star reserve, was traded last week by the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal for Ben Simmons.
This is the first All-Star selection for Allen. He's helped the surprising Cavs to a 35-22 record after winning just 22 games last season. Allen is averaging 16.2 points, a career-high 11.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots in 49 games. The 23-year-old is also second in the league in field-goal percentage (66.5%).
Shortly after learning Harden would miss the game, the Cavs began re-campaigning for Allen, who was passed over last week when Silver named Charlotte's LaMelo Ball as Kevin Durant's replacement.
“He should have been named an All-Star reserve from the jump,” said teammate Kevin Love, a five-time All-Star said of Allen. ”I told him, that doesn’t really matter how you get there. He’s been so consistent for us.
"He’s been a leader in that respect, brings it every single night. Posts a double-double, shoots extremely well from the floor. He’s a guy that wants to get better, a guy that wants to lead. It’s such a skill to play hard every single night and J.A. does that. He produces for us time and time again.”