A pleasant birthday present, indeed: On his 26th birthday, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been named to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game as a replacement for the injured Joe Johnson, Celtics radio voice Sean Grande reported early Wednesday afternoon.
It will be Rondo's third straight appearance in the All-Star Game. His play this season -- 14.8 points, 9.5 assists (second in the NBA) and 4.9 rebounds -- likely merited inclusion in the All-Star Game when the teams were first announced, but Rondo missed eight games due to injury prior to the selection of reserves and was originally left off the roster.
Johnson pulled out of the All-Star Game due to tendinitis in his left knee, opening one spot on the Eastern Conference bench. The other candidates to replace Johnson included Josh Smith and Kyrie Irving.
Rondo is currently serving a two-game suspension for throwing a basketball at a referee.