Archive for February 25th, 2012

When the 61st annual all-star game is played on Sunday, it’ll have a very unfamiliar feel about it.

For the East, no Kevin Garnett.

Out West, no Tim Duncan.

The future Hall of Famers were not voted in by the fans or the coaches, ending more than a decade in which the two were mainstays during all-star weekend.

If ever there was an indication of how the torch of NBA greats has been passed, this weekend only strengthens that position.

Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant are the only all-stars this weekend having been selected to 10 or more all-star games.

– Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England (Blog)

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowtizki is a member of the 2012 Western conference All-Star team. The NBA champion spoke with reporters in Orlando at NBA All-Star weekend about this season’s crowded schedule:

Question: With all the injuries in the NBA this year, how much do you attribute to the fact that there’s so many games coming so fast?

Dirk Nowitzki: Yeah, we knew that coming in that the schedule was a monster.  It was everyone’s fault.  It was the players’ fault, it was the NBA’s fault.  We knew this was coming for two years and we didn’t do anything about it, so now we have to deal with this shortened season and just play a lot of games.  We’ve got nine games in 12 games coming out of the break, which is a ridiculous number of games.  But we’ve just got to deal with it and go from there.  We’ve just got to fight through it.  We knew coming in it was going to be bad, but you’ve just got to deal with it.

Question: Will we see more teams do what the Spurs did the other day and sit Parker and Duncan?

Nowitzki: We have obviously an older team, and we have a tough stretch coming up.  We have games back to back to back, so I doubt J Kidd or some of those guys are going to play all nine games in 12 days.  I don’t know if it’s going to happen.  But we’ve got to fight through it, hopefully get some of our bodies back.  I don’t know how Roddy is doing, hopefully get him back soon.  I don’t know how long D-West is going to be out, but we’re going to need every healthy body and get through this tough stretch.

rajon rondo

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is an Orlando right now as a member of the Eastern conference All-Star team. He was just recently named a replacement for injured Hawks guard Joe Johnson. Here are a few quick words from Rondo with reporters at All-Star weekend:

Question: What have been your impressions of Jeremy Lin?

Rajon Rondo: He’s worked hard.  A lot of people doubt him.  I think he’s a product of hard work, and now it’s paying off.  He seems like a pretty humble guy.  He seems like a good guy.  He’s going to be here for a long time.

Question:  Sitting here right now, has this kind of been the craziest three days you’ve had in the league?

Rondo: Yeah, it’s been jam packed, really, my schedule.  I’ve changed my schedule completely.  I didn’t expect to be here.  I actually found out on my birthday.  It was a good birthday present.  I had to go back home and pack and I had to try to get a ticket situation going and a hotel room, who was coming, who wasn’t coming.  But I’m glad I’m here, and this has been the quietest All Star I’ve had as far as people coming in.  I’ve usually had about 20 people come in, but now it’s about five or six.

Steve Nash remains committed to Suns

Steve Nash
steve nash
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Nash’s eighth All-Star trip at age 38 is remarkable as the oldest All-Star point guard — ever. But with a 14-20 Suns team, the interest in Nash’s career is what comes next in July free agency and speculation about the March 15 trade deadline.

“It’s up to the team,” Nash said. “I’m happy where I am. I’m not happy with our record. I feel like I made a commitment to the fans and my teammates. But at the same time, I’d understand if the team wanted to make a move, so I’m completely open. To be honest, I just occupy myself with trying to prepare to play and play as well as I can.”

The Suns have made it clear that he would not be traded unless he asked for it. That is not in Nash’s nature.

“I feel like it’s a difficult position for me to demand a trade when I’ve been a part of that community for so long,” Nash said in his 10th Suns season. “I really feel like I owe it to my teammates to do the best I can for the group. I don’t feel like I should be demanding anything.”

– Reported by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic

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