NBA On TNT Notes 1/24/08: All Star Game Starters Announced

 Nate Dogg takes center stage at The Commission

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader

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Magic Johnson on what playing in the NBA All-Star Game meant to him: “One of the greatest honors besides winning the (NBA) Championship, is playing at the NBA All-Star Weekend. You get to see great players and you get to play with those great players. It was great when I got to see Charles (Barkley) and Dr. J (Julius Erving) and Michael (Jordan) and Larry (Bird). Playing against them was the most exciting basketball (game) I ever played.”

Barkley on what playing in the NBA All-Star Game means to the players: “For the players, (playing in the All-Star Game is) special. When you know that everyone in the world is watching. If you’re a high school player, you’re watching the NBA All-Star Game. If you’re a college player, you’re watching the NBA All-Star Game. If you’re a pro player, no matter what you say, you’re watching the game. The entire basketball world is watching.”

The starters for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game were announced exclusively on TNT

Eastern Conference Starters

G – Jason Kidd, New Jersey Nets

G – Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

C – Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

F – Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics

F – LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Orlando center and Eastern Conference starter Dwight Howard joined the show from Detroit via satellite.

Howard on if becoming an NBA All-Star was one of his goals as a youth: “It’s been on my list ever since I’ve been in the eighth grade. All the hard work and dedication I’ve put into basketball is paying off and I’m going to keep doing my part on and off the court.”

Howard on how the Orlando Magic have improved from last season: “I think we are becoming a more mature team. We still play a lot and love to have fun but when we step on the floor we know it’s all about business. Our coaches do an excellent job of making sure we are well-prepared for every game. We come out every night and play as hard as we can for 48 minutes. My teammates are the best.”

Western Conference Starters

G – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

G – Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets

C – Yao Ming, Houston Rockets

F – Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets

F – Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

Barkley on who was snubbed from the Western Conference starters: “(Hornets guard) Chris Paul should be starting. I’m rewarding Chris Paul because New Orleans has the best record (in the NBA). (Nuggets center) Marcus Camby should be starting. As well as (Rockets center) Yao Ming has been playing, Marcus Camby is unbelievable night in and night out.”

Magic Johnson: “(Suns guard) Steve Nash is the best point guard in the NBA along with (Nets guard) Jason Kidd. (Nash) should start every All-Star Game because he makes everyone better. Chris Paul is unbelievable. The problem in the West is that there are so many point guards. We’re not even talking about Tony Parker, Deron Williams and Baron Davis. The problem is there are not enough slots for as many point guards (as there are in the West).”

Denver forward and Western Conference starter Carmelo Anthony joined the show from Denver via satellite.

Anthony on his Denver Nuggets in the second half: “First of all, we’ve got to get healthy. That seems to be the story every year for the Denver Nuggets. Once we get everyone healthy and everyone back on the same page…all I can say is watch out for the Denver Nuggets in the second half of the season.”

Anthony on playing with Allen Iverson: “We knew that (critics) wanted to see us (fail) and not work it out. When you have two great players on one team who only want to win, then we don’t care about shots. We both know I can score with the best in the world and A.I. can score with the best in the world. We are going to score in the offensive end, as long as we do it in the defensive end then no on should question us.”

Magic Johnson on the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers: “What the (Clippers) owner doesn’t understand is that the West (Conference) is strong. Portland is great as a young team, New Orleans is outstanding as a young team. We’re not even talking about Houston, San Antonio and on and on. (How) does he think they are going to make the playoffs without (injured forward) Elton Brand?”

Barkley on the state of the Western Conference: “I think the Dallas Mavericks need to make a trade. The Spurs look old, tired and beat up. I’ve never seen the West (Conference) this shaky. Phoenix is struggling, Utah is inconsistent, Denver doesn’t play any defense. New Orleans may be too young to take it to the next level.”

Magic Johnson on the mind-set of the Dallas Mavericks: “The toughest thing with Dallas is they are not mentally tough. That’s why they can’t win.”

The Inside crew picked their NBA All-Star reserves.

Eastern Conference

Magic Johnson – Caron Butler (Washington Wizards), Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Chauncey Billups (Detroit Pistons), Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics), Richard Hamilton (Detroit Pistons), Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), Antawn Jamison (Washington Wizards)

Kenny Smith – Caron Butler (Washington Wizards), Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Chauncey Billups (Detroit Pistons), Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics), Richard Hamilton (Detroit Pistons), Ray Allen (Boston Celtics), Shaquille O’Neal (Miami Heat)

Charles Barkley – Caron Butler (Washington Wizards), Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Chauncey Billups (Detroit Pistons), NO CENTERS, Hedo Turkoglu (Orlando Magic), Ray Allen (Boston Celtics), Antawn Jamison (Washington Wizards)

Western Conference

Magic Johnson – Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns), Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks), Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns), Chris Kaman (Los Angeles Clippers), Baron Davis/Stephen Jackson (Golden State Warriors)

Kenny Smith – Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns), Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks), Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns), Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles Lakers, Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz)

Charles Barkley – Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns), Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Tyson Chandler (New Orleans Hornets), David West (New Orleans Hornets), Marcus Camby (Denver Nuggets), Stephen Jackson (Golden State Warriors)

Barkley on Shaquille O’Neal possibly missing the All-Star Game for the first time in 14 seasons: “I think (Shaquille O’Neal) should shut it down right now because he is going to hurt himself (further). Miami is not going to make the playoffs. (O’Neal will) admit that he has not played well enough to be an All-Star.”

Magic Johnson on the health of the Los Angeles Lakers: “What’s really going to hurt the Lakers is they lost (Trevor) Ariza, they lost (Andrew) Bynum, (and Vladimir) Radmanovic is out as well. Right now the Lakers don’t know which way they are going to go because they don’t have enough healthy bodies.”

Magic Johnson on the San Antonio Spurs competing in the Western Conference this season: “When you win (the championship), that means you’ve played more games than anybody. You’re worn out and tired. Then you come back right away and try to defend that title. It’s definitely a hard thing to do and the West (Conference) got better. The West is wide open this year. San Antonio was head and shoulders ahead of everybody and now they have come back to the pack. Anybody can win the West.”

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Game 1: San Antonio Spurs (90) @ Miami Heat (89)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on Miami Heat guard Dorell Wright: “(Dorell Wright has) a lot of talent, he’s a young guy. His offensive game really isn’t developed. Last year he was (in the game) for defense and rebounding. He has to develop an offensive game.”

Collins on what young players should learn from veteran teammates: “All young players should (learn from veterans). They should be able to go over to the best players and say, ‘I want to sit next to you and absorb all the best lessons I can from you, even when I’m not playing. How to work out, how to practice, how to prepare for the game.’ That’s the way young guys develop.”

Collins on Miami Heat guard Chris Quinn: “(Chris Quinn) has been a good learner. Last year, Quinn spent a lot of time with Jason Williams and Jason Kapono, they really taught (Quinn) the ropes on how to be an NBA player. It’s a great story for Chris Quinn to be in the NBA. To see him out there playing basketball, I’ve known him since he was six-years-old. It makes me very proud and I realize that I’m very old.”

 

Collins on Spurs center Tim Duncan: “Tim Duncan has seen every defense. He’s an MVP, he knows where his teammates are, they know where to be, and they’re in sync. And when they’re healthy, they are a very good offensive team. When one of their stars is hurt, they struggle.”

Collins on teams rebuilding through the draft: “You’ve got to get lucky (to rebuild your team through the draft). Look at the San Antonio Spurs. They (drafted) David Robinson and look how quickly it turned. They (drafted) Tim Duncan and look how quickly it turned. There isn’t a player in the lottery like that now, but there are some players that fill a need for Miami.”

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Halftime

Ernie Johnson, Barkley and Magic Johnson

Ernie Johnson on TNT NBA reporter Craig Sager’s purple suit and matching shoes: “It looks like he’s been stomping grapes.”

Magic Johnson on how Heat head coach Pat Riley is handling his struggling team: “Pat (Riley) is looking for guys to come out and play hard every night. (Riley) is about effort, effort and more effort. If he can get (effort) on the defensive end and get some of these young guys to improve. He’s going to work on every young players game to make them better for next season.”

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Collins on Heat forward Udonis Haslem: “Udonis Haslem has always reminded me of (former NBA player) Charles Oakley. He’s a guy that does the dirty work, he’ll give you about ten points a night and he’s the team’s toughest inside guy. He’s a winning player, I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s a guy that can be a piece on a championship team.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Spurs center Tim Duncan following the game.

 

Duncan on the fatigue of the Spurs: “It felt pretty good tonight all-around. (Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich) got us in and out of the game early on and that helped a little bit. Once you get to the fourth quarter and the adrenaline starts flowing and score is what it is, you’re not really tired anymore, you just play through it.”

Duncan on starting for the Western Conference All-Star team: “It’s a great honor. Thanks to the fans, obviously. To start for a ninth straight year, it’s above and beyond anything I ever dreamed.”

 

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Game Break

Ernie Johnson, Barkley and Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson on New Jersey Nets guard Vince Carter: “(Vince Carter’s) knees are gone, it’s over. (He was a) superstar, (he’s) now a regular player.”

Barkley on New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd: “I feel bad for Jason Kidd, who’s been the best point guard in the NBA for the last ten years. (He’s) a future Hall of Famer, that team’s just not very good. It’s time for them to trade Jason Kidd and start building for the future.”

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Game 2: New Jersey Nets (119) @ Golden State Warriors (121)

Announcers: Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller with Cheryl Miller reporting

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Nets president Rod Thorn during the game.

Thorn on the play of the Nets: “Lawrence (Frank) is doing a good job. It really comes down to how your players perform, and right now we have not played nearly as well as we would like to and as we expect to, but we do expect to play better.”

Reggie Miller on whether the Nets players have tuned-out coach Lawrence Frank: “You’ve got Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter, and I think things might be falling on deaf ears. Is Lawrence Frank a great coach? Yes, but at times players start to tune out their coach and I don’t know if that’s going on here in New Jersey, but something is going on. When you’ve got three players of the magnitude that New Jersey does, (a record of) 18-23 doesn’t cut it and the first person normally to go is the coach.”

Fratello on Nets forward Josh Boone: “Since the Nets have gone to the younger big men up front, I’ve been very impressed with Josh Boone and the poise that he has.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Warriors guard Monta Ellis following the first half.

Ellis on his attacking style of play: “That’s what (Warriors head) coach (Don Nelson) wants me to do. He’s been calling plays for me lately. I’ve had the confidence to knock (the shots) down.”

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Halftime

Ernie Johnson, Barkley and Magic Johnson

Barkley on fellow analyst Kenny Smith missing the show due to illness: “(Kenny Smith’s) being a wuss, I don’t give sympathy to wusses. Just because you’ve got a little runny nose, that doesn’t get it done around here.”

Magic Johnson on Vince Carter’s declining play: “(Vince Carter) is not the superstar he used to be. Vince Carter used to be a player who gave you three or four highlights every single night. When a jumper’s knees go, when a guy is athletic and uses his legs as a tool to be successful like Vince does…it’s harder for him to have consecutive great nights like he did two years ago.”

Barkley on Vince Carter adjusting to a new style of play: (Vince Carter’s) best days are behind him. Can he adjust? Probably not. What I mean by that is, guys who play above the rim, when they can’t play above the rim (anymore) there is quick and rapid decline in their playing ability.”

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Miller on the Golden State Warriors using up all their energy in the first round of the 2007 playoffs: “(The Warriors) were really spent going into that second round series against Utah. They easily could’ve won Games 1and 2 but they lost it in the closing moments. They went down 0-2 and they spent all their gas after that.”

Miller on the comments from Nets guard Jason Kidd that being .500 in the Eastern Conference is good enough to make the playoffs: “I’m disappointed in that quote from Jason Kidd because it’s almost like he’s saying, ‘We’re settled in to what this team is all about’ instead of saying, ‘This is not good enough, I’m better than this. I know I’ve got two other All-Stars that are better than this, guys we’ve got to regroup and get it done.’”

Fratello on the Warriors strategy to foul Nets forward Josh Boone multiple times in the second half: “You have to weigh how much (Josh Boone) is doing for you on the glass, offensive rebounds, defensively. Do the plusses outweigh the minuses? At the same time you’ve got to play the rest of the season with this youngster. You have to show some faith and belief in him.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Warriors coach Don Nelson after the third quarter.

Nelson on the ‘hack-a-Boone’ strategy the Warriors implemented against Nets center Josh Boone: “Anytime a guy shoots in the 30s, 38 percent, then he’s a candidate to slow the game down and try to change the tempo, but the strategy didn’t work. Give the guy credit, (Josh Boone) stepped up there and knocked his free throws down, at least some of them. The strategy worked against us.”

Miller on Warriors guard Monta Ellis: “Without the ‘pitty-pat’ dribble, (Monta Ellis is) a lot like (Heat guard) Dwyane Wade. The way he can get into the lane and finish. If he could work on his ball handling, that would be the next step in the evolution for a player like Monta Ellis.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Warriors guard Baron Davis following the game.

Davis on teammate Monta Ellis: “(Monta Ellis) is the future for (the Golden State) franchise. He’s a rising superstar and he’s been playing great for us all season. We’ve really been relying on him, Coach (Don Nelson) tells us to give him the ball because he is our fast break. He’s doing a lot, maturing a lot in the half-court and that’s why you see us going to him.”

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Inside the NBA

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson

TNT aired Inside Trax with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wearing a microphone during the game.

Popovich on sideline reporter Craig Sager’s flamboyant purple suit: “I’m blinded, I can’t see the court now, I can’t see the court! How can we coach now?!”

Popovich in an interview with Sager: “How can you be that professional in a suit that looks like that?”

Sager: “I know you didn’t get much sleep last night, I’m just trying to brighten things up.”

Magic Johnson on Heat coach Pat Riley’s disposition over the Heat’s struggles: “(Coach Riley) is miserable. His poor wife, he’s got to be tough to live with right now. Coach Riley doesn’t take losing very well, he’s already a workaholic, so that means he’s working overtime right now trying to figure out how to get these guys out of the losing slump as well as out of the losing mentality. These guys don’t have the talent, don’t have the manpower and they don’t have the knowledge on how to win. But if they play with the same effort they played with tonight, then they can get a win in the next game.”

Barkley on the difference between playing on a good team and a bad team: “Magic (Johnson) is lucky to never play on a bad team like I did. It is depressing and it is humiliating. When you’re on a good team you (look at the schedule and) say, ‘We’re going to win this game, we’re going to win this, we’ve got to play hard, but we should win this game.’ When you’re on a bad team, you’re like, ‘Where is Minnesota at? Where is Seattle (on the schedule)?’ You’ve got to cherry pick your games. Plus, the stands are empty so it’s hard to motivate yourself.”

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19 Responses to “NBA On TNT Notes 1/24/08: All Star Game Starters Announced”

  1. [...] mizzo wrote a fantastic post today on “NBA On TNT Notes 1/24/08: All Star Game Starters Announced”Here’s ONLY a quick extractMagic Johnson on what playing in the NBA All-Star Game meant to him: “One of the greatest honors besides winning the (NBA) Championship, is playing at the NBA All-Star Weekend. You get to see great players and you get to play with those … [...]

  2. Has Kenny Smith fallen and bumped his head? Shaq deserves to be an All-Star as much as I do.

  3. Gyangstah Says:

    OK, I might be a little biased here but when is someone going to acknowledge that ONLY Chauncey Billups is playing better than Jose Calderone (who?) at PG in the East (and yes, that includes Jkidd, whom I love)?

    Could someone, ANYONE south of the 49th give the boy some shine please and maybe, just maybe, let him play in the All Star game??

  4. LOL Michelle. It’ll take another 5 years of Shaq playing at this level for Kenny to commit to the idea that maybe Shaq’s not an all star anymore.

  5. Mark,

    I mean does the guy need glasses? He was that dude once but a 15 game losing streak? Oh No!

  6. Dolphins, Heat and Marlins OH MY! Yes Philly fans it could be worse.

  7. LOL…dang Michelle….just realized that the South Florida trifecta is sadder than the one in the A-T-L……..wow……(sigh)…reasons #245 to hate anything from Boston.

  8. Miranda,
    Sure makes Philly fans feel a little better.

  9. Shiiiiiiit lol

  10. Hey MIranda!
    Some of us are from Boston, you know! :)

  11. Michelle,
    With Kenny, and many others, I think – once you’re a powerhouse, you’re always a powerhouse, at least until 10 years AFTER you’re done!

  12. LOL…sorry Mark….but even Atlanta’s NHL team is pitiful…so we’re hatin on everybody right now!

  13. No problem Miranda:) We’ve been there too – 10 years ago, if anyone had told me we’d have 2 World Series titiles, and 3 going on 4 Super Bowls, plus getting Kevin Garnett, I’d say they were smoking something!

  14. Mark,

    Wow have things changed in Boston. You are so lucky Mark.

  15. They certainly have. I arrived in Boston in 1986 – just in time to watch the Sox give the World Series to the Mets……..But I can smile about it now!

  16. Mark,
    We are all green with envy. Lol!

  17. Hey, anyone notice how much better the Knickerbockers are playing without Stephon Marbury? Just throwing it out there……they seem to be showing a bit more life and heart…..I kinda think this might not be an accident. Just wondering what y’all think? Have a great Saturday nite!

  18. TC,

    I guess everyone is out this evening. I think you may be right. Some guys just have to find the right fit. Maybe the Knicks aren’t the right fit for Steph.

  19. fuKKK U maGiC johnson vince carter is a superstar it has nothing to do with his knees its that he chooses not to dunk as much. he still can dunk the best in the league but he says that a layup is worth the same as a dunk. i bet he will dunk on your ass. You just mad because you werent as good as him

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