Nowitzki, Pierce added to All-Stars
NEW YORK - The Associated Press
Dallas Mavericks’ power forward Dirk Nowitzki was chosen by coaches to take part in the NBA All-Star game. AP photoDirk Nowitzki’s streak of NBA All-Star appearances has survived, despite one of his worst seasons.
Two other old stars are no longer All-Stars.
Nowitzki was chosen on Feb. 10 to his 11th straight All-Star game, with coaches overlooking the lowest scoring average since the German’s second NBA season in favor of his long-term excellence.
“It was a tough road back to full health for me, but I am honored that the coaches thought enough of me to make me an All-Star,” Nowitzki said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to represent the Mavericks organization over the last decade and I look forward to doing it again in Orlando.”
Small forward Paul Pierce will join him despite his own slow start caused by a foot injury and was picked for the 10th time.
But Kevin Garnett wasn’t chosen after 14 consecutive selections, and Tim Duncan was left out after 13 in a row.
Other All-Star regulars such as Ray Allen and Amare Stoudemire will stay home, giving way to five first-timers among the reserves: LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland, Marc Gasol of Memphis, Andre Iguodala of Philadelphia, Roy Hibbert of Indiana, and Luol Deng of Chicago.
Also headed to the Feb. 26 game are NBA assists leader Steve Nash of Phoenix, Tony Parker of San Antonio, Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City, Kevin Love of Minnesota, Chris Bosh of Miami, Joe Johnson of Atlanta and Deron Williams of New Jersey.
Already voted to start by fans in the Eastern Conference were Orlando’s Dwight Howard, Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Chicago’s Derrick Rose and New York’s Carmelo Anthony. The West starters are the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, the Clippers’ Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.