Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal got his 15th All-Star selection today when the League coaches announced this year’s All-Star reserves for the match to be held in Phoenix on February 15th. He is now second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in terms of the Big Game appearances.
“It feels good. It’s not bad for somebody who can’t shoot,” said O’Neal, a career 52.7 percent free-throw shooter who is making more than 62 percent from the line this season. “It helps to have the best power forward (Stoudemire), the best point guard (Steve Nash) and guys like (Grant) Hill playing with me. They’ve been looking out for me all season.”
Amare Stoudemire is the only other selection from the Suns.
Orlando Magic led the Eastern Conference with three selections including Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis and starter Dwight Howard. However, Boston Celtics were in for a shock as Ray Allen was denied the pass for the second year in a row, despite his contribution to Celtics 38-9 record run. Last year, he was only allowed when Caron Butler got injured and had to pull out.
“I was just anxious to find out,” Nelson said. “I honestly don’t get that way. But me hearing everywhere, ‘You’re an All-Star, you should be an All-Star, you’re having an All-Star year.’
Also making the reserve group are New Jersey guard Devin Harris, Danny Granger of Indiana Pacers, Pau Gasol of the Lakers, Tony Parker of the Spurs, Brandon Roy and David West of the Hornets.
Lakers’ Phil Jackson will coach the West and Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy will be the coach for the East.