Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 2/7/12
MIAMI -- The last time the NBA had an All-Star Game without Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki, there were articles out about how gas prices were soaring. Talk was it could exceed 1.50 a gallon. That was a long time ago," Miami guard Dwyane Wade said of 2001. The last time the NBA had an All-Star Game without Garnett was 1996. You dont want to know what gas prices were then. Three impressive All-Star streaks might come to an end when reserves are selected Thursday for the Feb. 26 game in Orlando. Garnett, 35, a Boston forward, has been picked for 14 straight games, which has him tied with Shaquille ONeal, Karl Malone, Jerry West and Kobe Bryant (counting Bryant being named a starter in 2012) for the most consecutive selections in history. Duncan, 35, a San Antonio forward, has played in 13 straight, never having missed one since he was drafted in 1997 (there was no game in 1999). And Nowitzki, 33, a Dallas forward, has appeared in the past 10 games. All are former MVPs. But all are showing age and have slipping stats, which should mean vacation time on their hands this All-Star break. Generations are changing," said Heat forward Chris Bosh, expected to be named Thursday to his seventh All-Star Game. Those guys were the heroes when I was growing up. Now, times are changing, and we all get older. Sometimes new guys are going to come up . Its always going to be changing evolutions, one guy out and another guy in." But never in All-Star history might so much history be left by the wayside. Then again, one might want to wait until Thursday to be completely sure. This isnt a normal year for All-Star voting because the season started nearly two months late due to the lockout. When votes by coaches for reserves were due at the NBA office Tuesday, teams had played between 21 and 27 games. Thats roughly a third of the 66-game slate having been completed. In typical 82-game seasons, teams had played in the close to 50 games when coaches voted on reserves. So the season was often around 60 percent over when choices had to be made. But could the short season make coaches now vote as much upon reputation as what players actually have done this season? At least one says he will alter how he votes. I think a little of both," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. Its just a short season . You look at the body of work (from before this season) and maybe consider the short season." Casey isnt just talking. He said he voted for Garnett, whom he once coached at Minnesota, as an East reserve. While Casey doesnt vote on West players, he said he would vote for both Duncan and Nowitzki if he were a coach in that conference. Nowitzki is averaging 17.2 points, the fewest since his rookie season of 1998-99; Garnett is putting up 13.7, the fewest since his rookie season of 1995-96; and Duncan is averaging 13.8, slightly better than his career low of 13.4 from last season. Duncan was able to keep his All-Star streak alive last season, but a primary reason was the Spurs having the NBAs best record when votes were due (theyre now tied for sixth-best). Cleveland coach Byron Scott and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra both said they voted for All-Star reserves as they would any other season. But Spoelstra does see how the lockout-affected campaign makes it a more difficult voting process. It is a short sample size," Spoelstra said. And to be perfectly fair about it, some of the teams we havent played." If a short season does lead some coaches to consider reputation more than normal, Nowitzki has the best shot of the veteran big men to see his All-Star streak continue. Hes coming off being named Finals MVP in leading the Mavericks to the title, but he hasnt been in the best of shape this season and recently was on the bench for a four-game stretch. If Im in that conference, I would have to vote for him just because of his body of work," said Casey, a Mavericks assistant the previous three seasons. MVP (of the Finals). He had an injury, and you still have to look at that. And I know this guy deserves to be an NBA All-Star." Nowitzki, though, doesnt agree. With the West extremely deep at forward, he said earlier this week he doesnt believe he should be selected as an All-Star. Duncan has been saying for a while hes ready for his streak coming to an end. He was surprised when he made last years team. When youre a guy who has been in multiple, multiple All-Star Games, I think, if you ask those guys, they would love to see other guys that deserve to get in," Wade, about to play in his eighth All-Star Game, said of the prospect of Garnett, Duncan and Nowitzki sitting home. All-Stars are about whos played at an All-Star level that season . The guys that have been doing it for a long time, 12 or 13 years, they dont mind if someone gets the nod over them if theyre having a great year. Theyre probably happy for them. (Nowitzki) may not (make it). But, at the same time, you never know. Sometimes you do go off reputation. You know, Dirk, hes an All-Star. Hes one of the best players in the game . You can never shake your head at guys like Dirk and K.G. making it. But you also cant shake your head when there are other guys having (big) years. LaMarcus (Aldridge of Portland) should make it. Kevin Love (of Minnesota) should make it." Few doubt those two will get the nod. But if theres a spot available in either conference when its not as clear cut, how many coaches might take reputation more into account than usual? It might not be enough to keep streaks alive for Garnett, Duncan and Nowitzki. So be prepared for a real changing of the guard in the NBA. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter@christomasson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

USF suspends DB indefinitely for role in shooting, arrest

Elway: Broncos plan to 'stay the course' with Siemian, Lynch

Boykin may have violated probation, could face jail time

Six reasons Raiders' move to Las Vegas will be awesome

Kraft: Patriots do not intend to trade Malcolm Butler

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Marshall talks about how he can help Odell Beckham

Scherzer makes Tebow look silly in spring training at-bat

Lonzo Ball discusses headlines his father creates

Laettner taunts Kentucky after Elite Eight heartbreaker

Chargers finally sell out season tickets after two months

Report: Heat still hoping to trade Chris Bosh

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker