Carmelo Anthony Replaces Kevin Love as 2017 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)    Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in action against Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2017 in New York City. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 111-103.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will replace injured Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love on the Eastern Conference roster in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, Marc Stein of ESPN reported Wednesday.

Adam Schefter of ESPN confirmed the report.

The Cavaliers announced Love underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee and will miss about six weeks.

This is not the first time this season Love and Anthony have made headlines together. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News previously reported LeBron James was pushing Cleveland's front office to trade for Anthony and was resigned to moving Love in the hypothetical deal if needed, although James later called the rumor "trash," per NBA on TNT.

Isola also noted Wednesday the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside was "a close second" behind Anthony for Love's vacant spot on the Eastern Conference roster.

Sunday's contest in New Orleans will mark Anthony's 12th All-Star Game. His Knicks were just 23-33 heading into play Wednesday, but he has posted impressive individual stats.

He has never averaged less than 20 points per game in his career and is well on his way to continuing that streak this season. However, Love has made more of an all-around impact with his rebounding and more efficient outside shooting for the defending champion Cavaliers and was deserving of the nod over Anthony before the injury:

Carmelo Anthony vs. Kevin Love Per-Game This Season
Carmelo AnthonyKevin Love
Minutes34.031.9
Points23.220.0
Assists2.91.9
Rebounding6.111.1
Field-Goal Percentage44.142.9
Three-Point Percentage36.738.4
Source: ESPN.com

This is a respite in an otherwise rough season for Anthony in terms of off-the-court headlines.

Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report wrote a critical story on the Knicks star, and team president Phil Jackson tweeted his apparent agreement with the piece. Ian Begley of ESPN.com said Jackson "has—directly or indirectly—delivered several critiques of Anthony this season."

Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix of The Vertical previously reported Jackson was "determined" to trade Anthony and bolster a Knicks rebuilding effort, although the All-Star nod is a testament to his individual ability as a scorer.