Jan 29, 2002
NEW YORK (AP) - Former Santa Clara University star Steve Nash and Dallas Mavericks teammate Dirk Nowitzki were among seven reserves picked Tuesday for their first NBA All-Star games.
Nash's selection marked the first Santa Clara player to play in the annual all-star game since Ken Sears participated in the 1958 and 1959 contests. Sears scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting and 4-of-5 from the free throw line in 14 minutes of action in the East squad's 130-118 victory on Jan. 21, 1958 in St. Louis. He followed that performance with a 15-point, 8-rebound effort in 1959, but the East team dropped a 124-108 decision on Jan. 23 in Detroit. He went 5-for-8 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line in 26 minutes of action in that contest.
Jermaine O'Neal of Indiana and Shareef Abdur-Rahim of Atlanta joined Pierce as first-time picks on the East team, and will be joined by veterans Alonzo Mourning (Miami), Ray Allen (Milwaukee), Jason Kidd (New Jersey) and Tracy McGrady (Orlando).
Nash, Paul Pierce (Boston), Wally Szczerbiak (Minnesota), Peja Stojakovic (Sacramento) and Nowitzki were first-time picks on the West team. The other West reserves are Karl Malone (Utah), Gary Payton (Seattle) and Chris Webber (Sacramento).
According to the Dallas Morning News, It's also the first time in 14 years that the Mavs will have two All-Star players in the same game. Mark Aguirre and James Donaldson were on the West team in the 1988 All-Star game in Chicago.
Nowitzki, who leads the Mavs in scoring with a 24.5 point averge, was the fourth-leading vote-getter among Western Conference forwards. Nash, enjoying his best season in averaging 19.3 points and eight assists per game, was sixth among the guards.
Reserves were selected in a vote by NBA coaches, who could not vote for their own players, while fans voted on the starters for the Feb. 10 game at Philadelphia.
The East starters are Michael Jordan (Washington), Vince Carter (Toronto), Antoine Walker (Boston), Allen Iverson (Philadelphia) and Dikembe Mutombo (Philadelphia).
Starting for the West are Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers), Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Steve Francis (Houston) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota). Francis also is a first-time All-Star.
Malone is a 14-time All-Star, Payton an eight-time pick and Mourning a seventh-time selection. Kidd earned his fifth All-Star berth, Webber was selected for the fourth time, Allen for the third and McGrady for the second.
A record five All-Stars were born outside the United States: Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Mutombo (Congo), Nash (Canada), Nowitzki (Germany) and Stojakovic (Yugoslavia). Nash is the first Canadian All-Star.