Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
BOSTON — After 17 seasons and 14 All-Star Games, Kevin Garnett probably would prefer to take the four-day vacation the majority of NBA players take in the middle of every season. He spent last season’s All-Star break as just that — a break — and came back rejuvenated for the Celtics’ second-half push. Garnett may have to cancel his mid-February vacation plans this year. The league announced Thursday night that the fans had voted Garnett as one of the three starting frontcourt players for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, ahead of a few other deserving big men. That led to some dispute as to the 36-year-old’s worthiness, with former players Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal openly claiming that Garnett does not deserve to start the game for the East. Garnett’s response prior to Friday’s game against the Bulls was just as straightforward. “I don’t,” Garnett said. “I think you have other guys like Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler, everybody else who might be up-and-coming younger guys, that could easily be in my position and have the opportunity to start. That wasn’t the case here.” As Garnett slyly noted, those players are not starting because the fans voted for him instead. Rajon Rondo will join Garnett on the All-Star team, marking the point guard’s fourth appearance but his first time being voted in as a starter. Garnett pointed out that Rondo never starting an All-Star game before does not mean No. 9 has not been an elite point guard for years. “It is a popularity contest,” Garnett said. “Let’s be honest. People vote for what they’re familiar with and what they want to see. Rajon has solidified himself as one of those up-and-coming point guards. He’s leading that pack. He’s worked his ass off to get to where he’s at. I’m happy for him.” A third member of the Celtics may have a case for inclusion on the East roster as well. Paul Pierce is having another outstanding season, even at 35 years old. Pierce is posting his highest player efficiency rating since 2007 and his highest scoring average per 36 minutes since that same season. Garnett flatly contended that “Paul deserves it more than I do.” Even if his future Hall of Fame teammate does not join him in Houston, Garnett will have no trouble mingling with the rest of the stars. Rondo has said that he likes to keep to himself at All-Star functions, since his temporary teammates become his adversaries as soon as the festivities are over. Garnett has learned when to turn off his distaste for his opponents, though. He even insisted there will be no bad blood between him and Carmelo Anthony. “I embrace everybody,” Garnett said. “East, West, coaches, you’ve got to treat it that way. You have to mingle, relax a little bit, be amongst your peers and people you play against. I’ve always been one to socialize with everybody and learn the history of the other players. I’ve always enjoyed that. That’s why being an All-Star is what it is. It gives you a chance to kind of relax and be an ‘East’ or be a ‘West.’” Without saying it, Garnett surely is aware that his opportunities to enjoy the midseason classic are dwindling. As long as he is healthy enough to participate in All-Star weekend, he will soak it in and make the most of it, no matter how much anybody — himself included — insists he does not belong there. Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page ad

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

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

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.