Nothing corrects an All-Star snub like your own coach. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra announced Friday that Heat center Chris Bosh will replace the injured Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference starting line-up in Sunday's NBA All-Star game.
Spoelstra gets to coach in the All-Star game because the Heat have the best record in the conference. Rondo, the Celtics point guard voted into the starting line-up by fans, is out with a torn knee ligament. Spoelstra will take the unusual move of shifting Heat power forward LeBron James to the point guard slot, with Bosh moving to power forward.
Boston's Kevin Garnett was voted into the third frontcourt spot by fans, edging out Bosh by just over 25,000 votes. Also starting for the Eastern Conference squad are Heat guard Dwyane Wade and New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony.
Bosh is making his eighth straight All-Star appearance, but only his second start. He is averaging 17.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game, shooting 55.5% from the field.
According to NBA.com, Bosh leads the league in field goal percentage between the paint and 3-point line at 52.5%.
When Spoelstra was named the Eastern Conference coach, he was asked whether Bosh would replace Rondo as a starter. "I will tell you this unequivocally," he responded: "my loyalties are first and foremost always with the Miami Heat."
The Heat are now the first team with three players starting in the All-Star game since 1990, when Magic Johnson, James Worthy and AC Green of the LA Lakers started for the Western Conference All-Stars.
The All-Star Game will be held at the Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17.