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News » Pistons' Iverson no All-Star cinch


Pistons' Iverson no All-Star cinch


Pistons' Iverson no All-Star cinch
Allen Iverson has been voted a starting All-Star guard eight of the past nine years.

Which was the one season in that span the fans gave him less love?

The one in which he was traded to the other conference.

The NBA prints paper All-Star ballots before the season, so they can't be changed when a player later is involved in an inter-conference trade. The NBA does update its online ballots.

But it seems as if the odds are against a player dealt to the other conference after paper ballots are printed.

Iverson was an East starter from 2000-2006 but didn't start in 2007, the season he was traded to the West. Iverson went from Philadelphia to the Nuggets in December 2006, and then finished third in voting at guard by a slim margin. (Houston's Tracy McGrady topped him, 1.94 million to 1.81 million votes, for the second and final West spot.)

Iverson spent all of last season with the Nuggets. And again he was an All-Star starter.

But Iverson earlier this month was shipped back East, going to Detroit in a deal in which Denver landed guard Chauncey Billups. Could the trade affect Iverson's hopes for a ninth start or hamper any chance that Billups, who has made three straight All-Star Games as a reserve, might have of a first start?

An NBA official, sent multiple e-mails by the Rocky, only would say a player involved in an inter-conference trade after the paper ballots are printed has his votes counted toward his new team and conference. The official wouldn't answer questions regarding specifics for such traded players.

Not only might some general confusion cost such a player votes on a paper ballot, but there are other factors involved.

If a fan with a paper ballot knows a player dealt to the other conference will have his votes counted with his new team, the voter might try to balance his ballot. If a fan voted for Billups, listed on the paper ballot as being with Detroit in the East, the fan also might want to vote for one other guard currently in the West and two guards currently in the East.

But, assuming no vote on that ballot is cast for Denver-listed Iverson, such a paper ballot would show three punches under East guards and one punch under West guards. That apparently would be an illegal ballot, since printed instructions read "too many votes for any position will void the vote(s) for that position."

And let's say a fan casts a paper ballot of two guards listed for the East and two listed for the West. One of the guards picked is Iverson, but neither Billups nor Jamal Crawford, recently traded from New York to Golden State, is selected.

This apparently would be a legal ballot even though the fan technically would be selecting three East guards and one West guard. Then Iverson could be hurt in the voting because two other East guards, rather than one, would be getting votes on that ballot.

The NBA never releases full totals in All-Star voting, only the top 10 at each position. So there's no way of knowing if, due to interconference trades, there is an imbalance of votes in the conferences.

As for Billups, in light of the wealth of top West guards, all this might be moot because it will be difficult to be elected a starter. But it's certainly possible that Iverson, a perennial fan favorite who is a candidate to start alongside likely East top vote-getting guard Dwayne Wade of Miami, could be affected again during a season in which he changes conferences.

Bouncing-around Brooks

Have clipboard, will travel.

That's now the credo for Scott Brooks after it once was: Have high tops, will travel.

As an NBA guard from 1988-98, the undrafted Brooks played for six teams. Now, as a coach, he's working in his fourth city in four seasons.

Brooks was a Nuggets assistant from 2003-06. Then he was an assistant in Sacramento in 2006-07 and in Seattle last season before accompanying the team to Oklahoma City.

But Brooks is an assistant no more. He was named Thunder interim coach last Saturday when P.J. Carlesimo was fired.

"It came as a surprise," Brooks said. "P.J. is a great man, and he brought me here, and I feel bad how it ended. But we have to move forward."

So far, Oklahoma City remains in neutral. Brooks is 0-3, dropping the team's mark to an NBA-worst 1-15.

One might think having an interim tag is tough, since Brooks has no idea how long he might last. But Brooks, 43, said his playing career prepared him well for living day to day.

"That's how I'm wired," he said. "I always had to go through that as a player. That doesn't bother me."

Brooks has received congratulatory calls from Nuggets assistants Adrian Dantley and Tim Grgurich.

Dantley said he's happy for Brooks but admits Oklahoma City doesn't have "the talent like a lot other teams (and) I don't know if he can turn it around."

Nuggets coach George Karl also is pulling for his former assistant.

"He's earned it," Karl said. "He's got to look at it as a positive opportunity. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, you're still going to be in the league."

Brooks, who coached his last 11/2 years in Denver under Karl, adds to Karl's cradle of coaches. He's the fifth current NBA boss to have played or coached under him.

Tech crisis

Dennis Rodman. Rasheed Wallace. Kendrick Perkins.

Which of the above doesn't belong?

Actually, none. Perkins, Boston's center, has a whopping eight technicals in 16 games.

"Yeah, they fine me," said Perkins, who has been docked $9,500. "But I don't really see it like that. It ain't really putting a dent in my pocket."

Evidently, Celtics leader Kevin Garnett needs to make a dent in Perkins' head to knock some sense into him.

INFOBOX 1

BY THE NUMBERS

150 tickets will be provided to youngsters from Denver's Porter-Billups Leadership Academy in a Thanksgiving gesture by Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups for Tuesday's game against Toronto.

TOUGH FOR T-MAC

How bad was it Monday in Miami for Houston guard Tracy McGrady? Heat guard Yakhouba Diawara scored twice as many points.

McGrady managed only six, his fifth game this season in single figures. McGrady, a two-time scoring champion averaging a surprisingly low 15.6 points, then sat out Wednesday against Indiana to rest his chronically sore left knee.

"(McGrady is) not trying to be Superman and try to save the team," McGrady said. "I just have to be smart about it."

It remains to be seen if McGrady will play Sunday at Denver. If he does, don't count on seeing the same McGrady who has lit up the Nuggets in his career with games of 51 and 43 points.

HE SAID IT

"We would have sold our children, probably, for 10 wins."

George Karl, Nuggets coach, on Denver reaching 10 wins before the end of November despite a tough schedule.

INFOBOX 2

Karl's coaching cradle

NBA coaches who played or coached under Denver's George Karl:

Coach Team Karl link

Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Nuggets assistant under Karl, 2005-06

Michael Curry Detroit Milwaukee player under Karl, 1998-99

Vinny Del Negro Chicago Milwaukee player under Karl, 1998-2000

Nate McMillan Portland Seattle player under Karl, 1992-98

Sam Mitchell Toronto Milwaukee assistant under Karl, 2002-03


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 28, 2008

 

 
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