* Vince Carter was elected by the fans, Michael Jordan was added by the Eastern Conference coaches, Jerry Stackhouse was snubbed and Antawn Jamison and Rasheed Wallace were overlooked when it came to selecting the 24 players for the NBA's 52d All-Star Game in Atlanta on February 9 (8 p.m. ET on TNT).
Vince Carter was named on 1,300,895 ballots to earn his spot as a starting forward on the Eastern Conference squad, despite missing the majority of this season due to an injured right knee. This is Carter's fourth time being an NBA all-star.
The all-star team selection for Jordan is his 14th, his first time as a reserve. "I've been there many times and this definitely is my last time," Jordan told the Washington Post last week. "I wouldn't have minded [not going]. If I was selected, which I said weeks ago, I would go and represent and enjoy myself. It gives my kids a chance to go and see some of the up-and-coming stars."
Vince Carter has been taken to task by many, including former Tar Heel George Karl, for not offering Jordan his position as a starter. Jordan has turned down a private offer to step aside by Allen Iverson, as well as a gesture made through the media by Tracy McGrady to do likewise.
Jordan referred to Carter's situation as a "Catch-22." "If he gives up his spot, some fans will be disappointed. That's not the way it's meant to be. Keep it the way it is. There's no bad person in this whole scenario," Jordan told the AP.
Carter has worked his way back into the Raptors' lineup recently from a serious knee injury and is not giving up the starting role that the fans have given him. "He's the greatest player to put on a pair of basketball shoes, but I appreciate the fact that I'm a starter also," Carter told the Toronto Sun on the Jordan issue. "I got voted in so I am going to play. I'll be there. I'll put on the No. 15 jersey for the Raptors and I'm going to represent Toronto well."
The tribute for Jordan probably led to Jerry Stackhouse, the Wizards leader in scoring and assists, being left off the East squad. Stackhouse tried to keep it all in perspective. "I'm used to being on the short end of the stick," 'Stack' told the Post. "I'm probably the only guy to lead his team in scoring and in assists for two years and not get an all-star berth, but that's the way things happen. It's disappointing."
On the selection of Jordan, Stackhouse said, "Michael's done something for everybody that's in the game. I'm as big a fan of Michael Jordan as anybody. For him to go out the right way would mean a lot to me and a lot of people in the league."
Golden State's Antawn Jamison was another NBA top-10 scorer denied a trip to Atlanta, with Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki being added to to the West team to back-up Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
"That's how it goes," Jamison told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I'm not disappointed. As long as the people upstairs in the organization think I'm doing a great job, I'm really happy with that." Jamison even said he would decline if asked to be a replacement for an injured player. "This will give me an opportunity to hit an island for four or five days, relax and enjoy myself," Jamison added.
A story in The Oregonian last week said the consensus among the Trail Blazers, the third-best team in the West, was that Rasheed Wallace should have been their all-star game representative. Wallace recently came back from a seven-game suspension and was not quoted in the article.
THE TAR HEEL PRO ALL-STARS
Tar Heel NBA All-Star Selections (1951-2003)
VINCE CARTER ............. 4 ('00 - '03)
BILLY CUNNINGHAM .... 4 ('69 - '72)
BRAD DAUGHERTY........ 5 ('88, '89, '91 - '93)
WALTER DAVIS ............. 6 ('78 -'81, '84, '87)
BOBBY JONES ............... 4 ('77, '78, '81, '82)
MICHAEL JORDAN ....... 14 ('85 - '93, '96 - '98, '02, '03) Voted the MVP in '88, '96, and '98.
BOB McADOO ................ 5 ('74 - '78)
CHARLIE SCOTT ............ 3 ('73 - '75)
JERRY STACKHOUSE ... 2 ('00 & '01)
RASHEED WALLACE ..... 2 ('00 & '01)
JAMES WORTHY ............ 7 ('86 - '92)
That's 11 players with a total of 56 NBA All-Star Game selections.
Note: no game played in 1999 due to lockout.
Tar Heel ABA All-Star Selections (1968 - 1976)
LARRY BROWN ............. 3 ('68 - '70) Voted MVP in '68.
BILLY CUNNINGHAM .... 1 ('73)
BOBBY JONES .............. 1 ('76)
DOUG MOE .................... 3 ('68 - '70)
CHARLIE SCOTT ........... 2 ('71 & '72)
That's 5 players with a total of 10 ABA All-Star Game selections.
Note: Cunningham, Jones and Scott played in NBA & ABA All-Star games.
Combined that's 13 players with 66 NBA/ABA All-Star Game selections.