LAS VEGAS — DeAndre Jordan is about to become an Olympian, but he has still never been an All-Star.
He was first-team All-NBA as a center this past season, yet he has never set foot at All-Star Weekend, even for a slam dunk contest.
That’s largely because the NBA no longer creates a category for centers to start in the All-Star Game, a decision that has never sat well with the Los Angeles Clippers‘ center.
“The game is definitely evolving. It’s becoming more guard-oriented. But at the same time we’ve got a lot of big guys who still kick ass,” Jordan said Wednesday after Team USA’s practice.
“We’ll never be extinct, even though there’s no more ‘centers’ in the NBA … just call me a forward when you introduce me against starting lineups.”
Jordan, of course, was being very sarcastic with that last line. It still bothers him that he has never made an All-Star team. He will continue to decline invitations to the slam dunk contest until he earns his way to the All-Star team. But Jordan said he doesn’t dwell on it as much as he did in years past.
“I think this [Olympics] is way bigger than any of that. I think making first-team All-NBA is way bigger than any of that,” Jordan said. “When I was younger I used to care [about not making the All-Star team.]. But now it doesn’t matter as much to me. As long as I have the respect of my peers, that’s all that matters.”