Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/21/14
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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Some Seahawks think Wilson isn’t 'black enough'

Darrelle Revis sent home for being late, misses practice

Report: Texas to pay scholarship athletes $10K per year

Report: Widespread academic fraud occurred at North Carolina

NHL postpones Senators/Leafs game after Ottawa shootings

Lions send player home from London after cutting him

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

WATCH: Penguins perform 'O Canada' following tragedy

WATCH: Cutest grandma challenges Dwyane Wade to game of one-on-one

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

Porn star: No one parties harder than Sebastian Janikowski

Outrageous college football predictions: Week 9

World Series Game 2 Preview: Giants vs. Royals

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!

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

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.