Arenas All-Star replacement for Pacers' O'Neal
NEW YORK -- Gilbert Arenas is headed to the All-Star Game after all.
"It's an honor. Thank you, David Stern," Arenas said before Friday night's game against Cleveland.
Arenas was perhaps the biggest omission on the East team when reserves for the Feb. 19 game in Houston were announced Thursday night. He is fourth in the league with 28.2 points per game.
"No way, no how," Wizards guard Antonio Daniels said Thursday. "There is no one more deserving to make the All-Star team than Gilbert Arenas."
Arenas said Thursday he would use the snub as motivation. Even now that he's in, he'll still have a chip on his shoulder over his late selection.
"There's still motivation there," said Arenas, who will be making his second consecutive All-Star appearance. "I've still got things to prove. I'm going to always have something to prove in this league. I'm one of those players who's just got to keep fighting, and I'm not going to give up."
Arenas said he received word of his selection via an e-mail sent to his cellphone. His reaction: "It ain't April Fools' yet?" he said.
East coach Flip Saunders will decide who replaces O'Neal in the starting lineup, though he indicated it probably won't be one of his four Detroit players who were selected.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press