Archive for Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Celtics’ Pierce tapped Eastern All-Star reserve

February 4, 2004

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— LeBron James missed the cut Tuesday in voting for All-Star reserves, finishing behind Eastern Conference guards Paul Pierce, Michael Redd, Baron Davis and Jason Kidd.

"Being selected to the All-Star team, it wouldn't be nothing new to me," James said Tuesday before the 14 reserves were announced. "I've been on All-Star teams my whole life. That's just how I play the game of basketball."

The league's 29 coaches selected the reserves.

Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers was among the Western Conference reserves for the league's showcase event Feb. 15 in Los Angeles.

Other All-Star reserves for the West are Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas, Peja Stojakovic and Brad Miller of Sacramento, Sam Cassell of Minnesota, Andrei Kirilenko of Utah and Ray Allen of Seattle.

The other East reserves are Jamaal Magloire of New Orleans, Ron Artest of Indiana and Kenyon Martin of New Jersey.

"Not a bad thing to be on your resume, All-Star in front of your name," said Martin, one of six players making their first All-Star appearance.

Redd is averaging 22.1 points for the surprising Milwaukee Bucks, Pierce is the league's sixth-leading scorer (22.9) for Boston, Davis of New Orleans had the league's fifth-highest average (23.2), and Kidd has led New Jersey to first place in the Atlantic Division.

Starters for the league's 53rd All-Star game, selected in fan balloting, are Vince Carter of Toronto, Tracy McGrady of Orlando, Ben Wallace of Detroit, Jermaine O'Neal of Indiana, Allen Iverson of Philadelphia for the East; Yao Ming of Houston, Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Kevin Garnett of Minnesota, Steve Francis of Houston and Tim Duncan of San Antonio for the West.

Minnesota's Flip Saunders will coach the West, and Rick Carlisle of the Pacers will coach the East.

James is averaging 20.8 points, 5.9 assists and 5.9 rebounds for the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose surge of six victories in eight games has moved them into contention for a playoff spot in the East.

The 19-year-old rookie is 13th in the NBA in scoring and 12th in assists, averaging 24.1 points since Cleveland traded Ricky Davis to Boston in mid-December. James, Pierce, Allen and McGrady are the only players averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Coaches had to choose a center, two forwards, two guards and two others regardless of position. They could not vote for their own players.

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