Anthony snubbed when All-Star reserves announced

NEW YORK -- One bad night may have overshadowed all the good Carmelo Anthony has done this season.

The NBA's leading scorer was not among the seven reserves announced Thursday night for the Western Conference team that will play in the NBA All-Star Game.

Denver teammate Allen Iverson was chosen, extending his streak
of All-Star appearances to eight. He started the last seven games while playing for Philadelphia. Anthony, who is averaging 31.3 points but missed 15 games while suspended for his role in the brawl at Madison Square Garden, was the most obvious omission.

Earlier Thursday, Anthony said he hoped his suspension wouldn't prevent him from earning his first All-Star spot.

"I hope no one holds that over my head over anything," he said. "Things happen. One incident like that is held over one person's head, life ain't fair.

"I did my punishment. I could've easily kept my name out there by appealing it and doing other stuff about it, but I just did my 15 games suspension and hopefully put that behind us."

Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion were all chosen
from the Phoenix Suns, the league's highest scoring team. Suns
coach Mike D'Antoni will lead the West.

"It will be great to be able to go with our coaches and
teammates," said Nash, the two-time NBA MVP. "It will be great to
have them there and have them be recognized, too."

Stoudemire, averaging 18.6 points and 8.9 rebounds, made it
after sitting out most of last season because of knee surgery.

"It was a goal of mine," he said. "I told you guys that
before the season started, back in training camp, that I was
planning on making it. So I was really striving for it.

"The past two years have been tough for me and it's definitely
paid off. There may be people who doubt you but you can never doubt

Dirk Nowitzki was the only player picked
from the Dallas Mavericks, who have the league's best record. The
Mavericks had been hoping Josh Howard would be selected as well.

"I think Dallas having the best record and only one guy, I
thought that was surprising," D'Antoni said.

Detroit and New Jersey had multiple reserves picked for the Feb. 18 game. Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton, who both made their first appearances last season, are going back, and Jason Kidd and Vince Carter will represent the Nets in the game at UNLV's Thomas &
Mack Center.

"I'm happy that Rip made it, too, because he's having a career
year," Billups said. "If I only made it, a piece of me would've
been disappointed. I've always felt like we're a package deal."

Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal and first-timers Dwight Howard of Orlando and Caron Butler of Washington round out the East reserves.

The seven reserves were voted on by the head coaches in their respective conferences. Coaches couldn't vote for their own players, and had to select two forwards, two guards, a center and two players regardless of their position.

The remainder of the West reserves were San Antonio guard Tony Parker and Utah forward Carlos Boozer.

The starters were announced last Thursday. LeBron James,
Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Gilbert Arenas were
picked in the East. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant were voted in by fans to start for the West.

Anthony still has a chance to play in Las Vegas. NBA commissioner David Stern will choose a replacement for Yao, who is recovering from a broken bone under his knee, and Boozer also
could be unavailable because of a hairline fracture in his left

He's expected to miss a few weeks, but said Thursday he hopes to
return in time for All-Star weekend. He doesn't know when he would
need to resume running for that to happen.

"Hopefully if everything works out, it will be right on time,"
he said. "I'll put it like that."

Anthony and Josh Howard are the most likely choices, but could
face competition for those spots from Seattle's Ray Allen,
Portland's Zach Randolph, the Clippers' Elton Brand and another
Denver player, Marcus Camby.

Stern said he expected to make his decision in the next few
days, and that when doing so he wouldn't consider the suspension he
gave Anthony for the punch the Denver star hit the Knicks'
Mardy Collins with on Dec. 16.

D'Antoni will lead the West squad, since
Dallas' Avery Johnson is ineligible after coaching last season. The
same three Suns were chosen as reserves to the 2005 game.

"I'm sure they'll be out there at some time but I haven't
thought about it," D'Antoni said. "I'm thinking about San Antonio
and Utah and everyone else in between."

Washington's Eddie Jordan clinched the East's coaching spot on
Thursday night when Cleveland lost to Miami. That ensured the
Wizards will have the East's best winning percentage through games
of Feb. 4.

Butler's career year has been key to Washington's success. The
forward is averaging 20.6 points and 8.0 rebounds, both career

"Coach Jordan gave me more and more freedom and I really
thought I had a chance," Butler said. "I dedicated my time last
summer and look what came out of it. I couldn't be happier with
this, but I know there is still work to be done."