OAKLAND, Calif. – Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul isn't certain he will be able to play in the All-Star Game in New Orleans, where he began his NBA career.
Paul was named a Western Conference reserve Thursday in a vote by the conference's coaches. The six-time All-Star, however, is still sidelined with a right shoulder injury that has caused him to miss 14 straight games. Paul said he needs to play in one of the Clippers' seven remaining games before the Feb. 16 All-Star Game in order to feel comfortable playing in New Orleans.
"Our timetable is still unknown," Paul said prior to the Clippers' game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. "My biggest concern right now is getting back for my team, not the All-Star Game. I'm trying to get back out there as soon as possible so I could help my teammates."
Paul had a productive and lengthy workout before the Warriors game. He said that if it were up to him, he would have played against the Warriors and predicted he would have been "somewhat effective." Paul also said that if he can't play in the All-Star Game, he wants to be replaced by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
"I'm shooting, working on my ball-handling," Paul said. "Still trying to get that range of motion, just trying to get it around my mind. Me and my training staff are doing everything possible to get back on the court."
Paul was selected fourth overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets. He made four All-Star appearances in New Orleans before asking for a trade. He was dealt to the Clippers along with two second round draft picks on Dec. 15, 2011, for guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and a first-round pick. The Hornets haven't been to the playoffs since.
"New Orleans will have a special place in my heart," Paul said.