Just after learning he made his sixth All-Star team, Celtics forward Paul Pierce's first reaction was: "Joe Johnson?"
Pierce was surprised that his ex-Celtics teammate, now with the Hawks, made the Eastern Conference team at guard over his current teammate, Ray Allen. Pierce was one of seven players voted in as an East reserve by the conference's coaches. Celtic Kevin Garnett already was voted in as a starting forward by the fans, while coach Doc Rivers and his staff earned the right to coach the East.
Johnson is averaging 21.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists for the 18-23 Hawks. Allen is averaging 18.2 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists for a Celtics team that is an NBA-best 36-8 after last night's 96-90 win over Dallas.
"I felt like [Allen] probably should have been over Joe Johnson," Pierce said. "That's just my opinion, though. They don't have a good record. They are not a .500 team. If that's the case, I think you should be on a .500 team or better.
"No knock on Joe Johnson. He's definitely an All-Star. He's definitely put up numbers and he is definitely a great talent in the NBA. But I think it also should do a lot with what you do as a team."
Pierce said "that's crazy" when he heard Allen didn't make it. Allen's scoring average was the lowest since his rookie season and he was averaging a career-low field goal percentage (.422). Allen, however, has hit game-winning 3-pointers at Charlotte and Toronto.
"I thought Ray should have been there also based on record and what we were doing team-wise," Pierce said. "I remember two years ago when the Pistons had four guys and they had a similar record to what we have now."
Allen took not being selected in stride.
"I look forward to spending some time with the family," he said. "Every year it seems like I'm in this predicament where you sit back and wait to see if you're chosen or not. It's been a privilege every time I made it. I'm glad to have made it. But I always said any time I don't make it, you can always make a case for other players in this league.
"There are so many players having a good first half of the season. I celebrate them. I don't look down on the season I'm having."
Rivers said, "Obviously, I think Ray should have made it. The fact that he had to sacrifice the most of the [team's Big Three]. It's unfortunate that the other coaches didn't see it that way."
Pierce will be making his first All-Star appearance since 2006. He is averaging a team-best 20.2 points and 5.7 rebounds and 5 assists.
"It's definitely gratifying, especially after last year with what we did as a team and not making All-Stars," Pierce said.
Count Rondo inAfter not making the game his rookie season, guard Rajon Rondo was named Wednesday to the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam in New Orleans Feb. 15 as a member of the sophomore team. Rondo averaged 6.4 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.7 rebounds while starting 25 of 78 games last season. He is averaging 9.7 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.2 rebounds.
"I'm still growing now," Rondo said. "It's an individual award. I'm just trying to get the wins."
Glen Davis did not get selected for the Rookie squad. The Baton Rouge, La., native, however, does plan to go back to his home state to enjoy the All-Star Weekend festivities and attend the Kentucky-Louisiana State game Feb. 16. Davis is averaging 4.6 points and 2.9 rebounds and had stiff rookie competition at forward.
"It is what it is. They pick who they want to pick," Davis said.
House for 3?Allen recently said he was hopeful that teammate and fellow sharpshooter Eddie House would be selected for the 3-point shooting competition. House, who has never been in the competition before, said he would definitely like to participate. He has nailed 40.6 percent of his 3-point attempts and 71 total.
The 3-point shooting participants will be named Thursday.
"It would be nice if I got invited," House said.
No Kidd-ingMavericks coach Avery Johnson killed rumors that Nets guard Jason Kidd could return to Dallas in a blockbuster trade.
"We're not involved," Johnson said. "Anybody has a right to throw out names. That's a part of speculating. But we're not involved. That's all I can tell [the players]. We like our team and we're moving forward with our team."