In a compressed season where the injuries have come one after another, it was nothing short of miraculous that all of the chosen 24 All-Stars were relatively healthy and would be in action Sunday.
Johnson, a reserve on the Eastern Conference, will skip the weekend festivities to rest a sore left knee, the Atlanta Hawks announced Wednesday.
The Hawks had already Johnson would sit out Wednesday’s game at New York and Thursday’s contest vs. Orlando due to the injury. Now Johnson will skip Sunday’s midseason showcase in Orlando.
Johnson will be re-evaluated before Atlanta’s first game after the break vs. Golden State on Sadie Hawkins Day (Feb. 29).
The logical replacement choice, to some, was Josh Smith — Johnson’s teammate on the Hawks, whose 19-13 record is sixth-best in the league.
But commissioner David Stern selected Rondo, whose Boston Celtics have lost six of seven to drop into eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Rondo is averaging 14.8 and 9.5 assists (2nd in the NBA behind Steve Nash’s 11.0). Smith is averaging 16.0 points, 9.6 rebounds (15th in the NBA), 3.7 assists and 2.13 blocks (5th leaguewide).