Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/19/13
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

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

Bill Belichick on having Tom Brady back: ‘He never left’

Mendoza replaces Schilling on 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Report: LeBron expanding program to help adults get GEDs

Here's Johnny 2.0

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

Likely scenarios for current MLB front-office vacancies

Seven takeaways from Eagles final preseason game

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

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

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

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