Four Pistons chosen as All-Star reserves
Updated: 2006-02-10 09:01
NEW YORK - Detroit was rewarded Thursday night for one of the best starts in
NBA history when four Pistons made the All-Star team as reserves.
Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and
Rasheed Wallace all were picked for the Eastern Conference team that will be led
by Detroit coach Flip Saunders. Tayshaun Prince was the lone Pistons starter not
chosen in voting by East head coaches.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol (L) drives
past Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace during the first half of their NBA
game in Auburn Hills, Michigan January 27, 2006.
"I would just like to thank the coaches in the league for recognizing our
players," Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars told The
Associated Press on Thursday night. "What the coaches are saying by voting our
guys on is that they appreciate unselfishness, great attitudes and team
The Pistons (40-8) became the first team with four players in an All-Star
game since the Los Angeles Lakers sent Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Eddie
Jones and Nick Van Exel to the 1998 game in New York.
Joining the Pistons on the East team for the Feb. 19 game in Houston will be
Toronto's Chris Bosh, Boston's Paul Pierce and Vince Carter of the New Jersey
The Western Conference reserves are guards Ray Allen of Seattle and Tony
Parker of San Antonio, and forwards Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas, the Clippers' Elton
Brand, Memphis' Pau Gasol, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett and the Suns' Shawn Marion.
Billups and Hamilton are among the five first-time selections, joining Bosh,
Parker and Gasol.
Despite playing in the NBA Finals the last two years, recognition had come
slowly for the Pistons during the season in recent years. Ben Wallace was
Detroit's only All-Star in each of the last three years, and the Pistons haven't
had multiple selections since Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse in 2000.
"What they have done the first half of the year, I wouldn't have disagreed
with five," said Mavericks coach Avery Johnson, who will coach the West.