DeAndre Jordan: Game is evolving, but centers 'will never be extinct'

LAS VEGAS -- DeAndre Jordan is about to become an Olympian, but he has still never been an All-Star.

He was first-team All-NBA as a center this past season, yet he has never set foot at All-Star Weekend, even for a slam dunk contest.

That's largely because the NBA no longer creates a category for centers to start in the All-Star Game, a decision that has never sat well with the Los Angeles Clippers' center.

"The game is definitely evolving. It's becoming more guard-oriented. But at the same time we've got a lot of big guys who still kick ass," Jordan said Wednesday after Team USA's practice.

"We'll never be extinct, even though there's no more 'centers' in the NBA ... just call me a forward when you introduce me against starting lineups."

Jordan, of course, was being very sarcastic with that last line. It still bothers him that he has never made an All-Star team. He will continue to decline invitations to the slam dunk contest until he earns his way to the All-Star team. But Jordan said he doesn't dwell on it as much as he did in years past.

"I think this [Olympics] is way bigger than any of that. I think making first-team All-NBA is way bigger than any of that," Jordan said. "When I was younger I used to care [about not making the All-Star team.]. But now it doesn't matter as much to me. As long as I have the respect of my peers, that's all that matters."