It is Cousins’ first All-Star selection, and he is the first Kings player to earn the honor since 2004. The fifth-year player ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring at 23.8 points per game and third in rebounding at 12.3 per game. Cousins, 24, was selected over Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Memphis guard Mike Conley and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.
The Los Angeles Lakers recently lost Bryant for the remainder of the season because of shoulder surgery. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who earned the right to coach the West squad because the Warriors clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 1, will determine who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup. Likely candidates include Rockets guard James Harden, Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.
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