Jordan had a game-high 24 points and 20 rebounds in the Clippers' 110-95 win over theHouston Rocketson Wednesday. It was the second straight game andthird in the past six in which he recorded at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, something he wasn't able to do in any of his 511 previous regular-season and playoff games in the NBA.
He leads the league this season in rebounds (13.8) and field goal percentage (.725) and is second in blocks per game (2.35), but Jordan will be watching the All-Star Game in his hometown of Houston on Sunday after NBA commissioner Adam Silver namedMavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki asa replacement for injured Pelicans forward Anthony Davison Wednesday.
"I think DJ should be on the All-Star team," Rivers said. "I think it's a travesty. I really do. Dirk deserves to be on the All-Star team every year as far as I'm concerned, so you can never have anything against him. He's been a great player throughout his career. I just think that a guy who is getting 27 [rebounds] and 22 [points vs. Dallas on Monday] and 20s and 20s [should] be on the team."
Rivers said he called Western Conference coaches last month trying to get Jordan his first All-Star selection as a reserve.
Jordan shot 6-for-8 from the field Wednesday to extend his NBA-record streak to 39 games shooting at least 50 percent, and he also was 12-for-26 from the free throw line.
"What I keep saying about DJ that you don't like is you play both sides of the floor," Rivers said. "Just one side of the floor keeps getting all of the credit, and not the other side of the floor. And the other side is more important. There's never been a team that's won a title without being a decent defensive team or a great, great defensive team yet that side keeps getting forgotten about in the All-Star Game.
"I think every year they should put the best defender on. They put the best offensive player on every year. They should think about putting the best defensive player on -- on both sides, the East and the West. Then it would be solved and easy, but DJ should be on, and we all know that. But that's all right; DJ knows we're playing for bigger things than All-Star Games."
Rivers called Jordan the best defensive player in the league and has often compared him to Wilt Chamberlain. Although the comparison might seem out of place, you'd have to go back to Chamberlain during the 1972-73 season to find the last player to finish a season shooting over 70 percent from the field and lead the league in rebounds and field goal percentage in consecutive seasons as Chamberlain did in 1971-72 and 1972-73.
"Next year I probably have to average 20 points per game and maybe it will be something that they look at," Jordan said. "I'm happy for Dirk. He deserves to be an All-Star. At this point there's nothing I can do about it. I've accepted it and moved on. It's cool."
Under instructions from coach Kevin McHale, the Rockets fouled Jordan eight times during the final 4:15, hoping to capitalize on his notoriously poor foul shooting. But he made 7 of 16 during that stretch, and Houston got no closer than 10 points -- while making only two field goals over the final 8:05.
"I know it's a hard thing to go through, from a coaching standpoint, and I'm sure for DJ, too," Rivers said of the constant fouling. "But we actually gained points through that, so we were happy. I'm an old-school guy. And every time it starts happening, one of the refs comes up to me and said: 'Don't you think we have to change this rule?' I don't know. It's a tough one. But it doesn't look good."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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