Clippers' Chris Kaman calls his selection 'like a half All-Star game for me'
And then things took a truly silly turn inside the Los Angeles Clippers practice facility Monday after General Manager Mike Dunleavy informed his team that center Chris Kaman had been selected as an All-Star replacement for injured Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy.
Kaman's teammates playfully wrestled him to the floor, a few piling on top.
"That wasn't fun," Kaman deadpanned later.
Asked Dunleavy, who was standing nearby: "What, did they give you a wedgie?"
"No," Kaman retorted. "We're not going to discuss what they gave me."
The Clippers were mostly giving the 27-year-old kudos for being selected during a season in which he is averaging a career-high 20.2 points and 9.0 rebounds. He will become the first Clipper All-Star since Elton Brand in 2006 and the franchise's first draft pick to play in the game since Danny Manning in 1994.
Still, the selection had a bittersweet tinge. Noting that NBA Commissioner David Stern picked him to play Sunday in Dallas only because Roy was sidelined by a hamstring injury, Kaman called it "like a half All-Star game for me, just not being selected right away" for a reserve spot by the Western Conference coaches.
"Obviously, someone had to get hurt for me to make it on the team, which is frustrating," he said. "But I'm excited to be a part of it. I worked hard this summer and in the preseason to get myself in the right position."
Kaman said a planned weekend getaway with his girlfriend would have to wait.
"I don't know if she's going to be mad or not," he said. "Hopefully, she understands."
-- Ben Bolch
Photo: The Clippers' Chris Kaman argues the lack of a foul call and gets called for a technical foul during the first half of the game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Jersey Nets at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA, on 27 January 2010. Credit: EPA/JUSTIN LANE