Bryant, Paul lead All-NBA first team
NEW YORK ó Kobe Bryant added another honor Thursday to go with his MVP award by becoming the only unanimous selection to the All-NBA team.
The Lakers star was voted to the first team for the third straight season and the sixth time in his career. He led Los Angeles to the best record in the Western Conference and was presented with the MVP trophy Wednesday before helping the Lakers to a 120-110 victory against Utah in Game 2 of the conference semifinals.
Joining Bryant on the first team were New Orleans guard Chris Paul, who was three votes shy of being a unanimous pick, along with Bostonís Kevin Garnett, Clevelandís LeBron James and Orlando center Dwight Howard.
Garnett was a first-team pick for the fourth time, and James made his second appearance. Paul and Howard were first-timers.
Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash of Phoenix were voted to the second team along with San Antonioís Tim Duncan, Utah guard Deron Williams and Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki. The third team consisted of Houstonís Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, plus Utahís Carlos Boozer, Bostonís Paul Pierce and the Spursí Manu Ginobili.
ORLANDO, Fla. ó Chauncey Billups spent almost all Wednesday night in the trainerís room. He was there Thursday, when the rest of the Detroit Pistons took the court to practice. And heíll be there most of today, too.
iHeís going to have stuff heís never seen before,î said Arnie Kander, Detroitís strength and conditioning coach. iWeíre going to hit him with a barrage of different things ó weíre going to do 7-8 treatments a day, pretty much around the clock.
iThe goal is Saturday, and thatís what weíll do. Get him ready for Saturday.î
Thatís when the Magic will try to tie up their Eastern Conference semifinal series in Game 4 in Orlando. Billups sustained the first hamstring strain of his 11-year NBA career in Detroitís 111-86 loss to the Magic on Wednesday.
SALT LAKE CITY ó Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller says he wonít attend Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals because itís being played on a Sunday.
Miller, a member of the Mormon church, says he wonít attend because of religious reasons. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages members to avoid non-religious activities on Sundays.
Miller told The Salt Lake Tribune he probably wonít watch the game on TV or listen on radio, but his wife might watch the game and give him updates while he takes a long drive.
MILWAUKEE ó Point guard Mo Williams had surgery to repair ligament damage in his right thumb, and he expects to be ready for training camp in October.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Kiki Vandeweghe became the New Jersey Netsí general manager less than six months after being hired as a special assistant to team president Rod Thorn.
Vandeweghe replaces Ed Stefanski, who left in midseason to become the general manager of the 76ers.
n EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó A man who accused Richard Jefferson of grabbing him by the throat in an incident in a Minneapolis club this year had too much to drink, the New Jersey Nets forward said in a radio interview.
Jefferson was charged with assault on Wednesday for the Jan. 27 incident when the Nets were in Minneapolis to play the Timberwolves.
According to the charge, Jefferson went to a club in the Graves Hotel, where the victim was having a private birthday party in a roped-off section.
Speaking on Sirius satellite radio, Jefferson said he was attending a birthday party for teammate Vince Carter when he was approached in the hotel bar by an individual he described as ivery rude and very disrespectful.î
By Sarah Hall Salisbury Post Get ready, brothers and sisters, for that great getting-up out of your chairs this Friday.... read more