MANILA—It just got better.
Back-to-back NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant will join Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and four other high-caliber players in parading their wares in the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend at the Araneta Coliseum.
Durant will replace Los Angeles Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan, who was said to have passport issues.
“Kevin Durant is replacing Deandre Jordan in the Smart Ultimate Weekend,” said Chot Reyes, Talk ‘N Text coach and executive director of the MVP Sports Foundation, in his Twitter account Monday night.
Durant, the 2010 FIBA World Championship MVP, will be one of the leaders of the US Select team set to test the mettle of Smart Gilas Pilipinas in July 24, a day after an exhibition game against the PBA All-Stars.
Completing the star-studded roster are 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, second overall pick Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves, James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder and five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 22-year-old forward, who steered the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks, averaged a league-leading 27.7 points per game.