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Adam Silver Wishes He "Had Another Slot for Damian" On All-Star Team

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gives his reasons for choosing DeMarcus Cousins over Damian Lillard to replace Kobe Bryant for the All-Star game.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Casey Holdahl at reported on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's decision to pass over Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard in favor of DeMarcus Cousins for The All-Star Game.

Asked to reflect on what he would remember most about his first year as commissioner, with Sunday marking exactly one since he replaced David Stern, Silver said: "That I had to decide between DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard. I didn't like having to make that choice. I wish I had another slot for Damian because I think he's deserving of being an All-Star as well.‎

"I rely heavily on our basketball folks in terms of where the coaches' [voting] came out. Of course there's a fan vote for the starters and the coaches choose the reserves. DeMarcus was very high up on the coaches' vote, so that had a strong influence on me. Ultimately I deferred to them. DeMarcus, based on his numbers, absolutely deserves to be an All-Star. Damian ... his numbers are great, too. When I look at his team's record, I want to take that into account as well. Damian is someone who has literally been a model citizen in terms of what he's done in the community, he's done in Portland [and] activities he's engaged in with the league. It was essentially a tie in my mind, so I ultimately deferred to the coaches."

Silver's decision to replace Kobe Bryant with Cousins was explained to Lillard.

"He was disappointed, but he understands," Silver said of Lillard. "When I say he understands, he doesn't agree with me, but he's been in this league for a while now and he understands that's how things go. I think he's equally disappointed with the coaches because I was the third-tier as a selector. The fans and the coaches went first. I'm sure he's going to continue to demonstrate on the court why he deserves to be an All-Star."

Last week Aaron Fentress at had a lengthy article that shared his ideas on how Lillard was feeling disrespected and snubbed.

But it seems Damian will have the last word: