Stern doesn't pick Williams as reserve
CLEVELAND -- Once was too much for the Cleveland Cavaliers. But twice?
The team was outraged last week when guard Mo Williams, who has helped the Cavaliers get off to the best start in their history, was not chosen as a reserve for the NBA All-Star team in a vote by Eastern Conference coaches. LeBron James and his teammates believed Williams belonged and took the omission as disrespectful to Williams and Cleveland.
Not naming him as the natural and obvious replacement for the unfortunately injured Jameer Nelson is stupidiculous, idillogical and preposterageous.” -- Cavs owner Dan Gilbert
The Cavs found the second rejection of Williams, who is averaging 17.1 points in 48 games, so absurd that they're making up words to describe their feelings.
"Ben Wallace was right when he called Mo originally being passed over for the All-Star Game a shamockery," Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said in a tongue-in-cheek e-mail to The Associated Press. "But not naming him as the natural and obvious replacement for the unfortunately injured Jameer Nelson is stupidiculous, idillogical and preposterageous."
Cleveland will be represented by James, who was selected in fan voting, and coach Mike Brown and his assistants will coach the East squad.
"It's unfortunate that at the end of the day Boston has three guys and Orlando has three guys and we have one," Brown said after practice on Friday. "LeBron is a hell of a player, but I wonder in people's minds, what does that say about the rest of our team? Defensively we're No. 1. I think our points per game differential is No. 1 Obviously, our record is what it is.
"There are a lot of things stat-wise that show we're a pretty good team. For us not to be represented by multiple guys is disappointing."
The Cavaliers are using Williams' snub as motivation. Earlier this week, James called Williams' initial slight as "a total smack in the face."
"We felt like Mo is a big reason that we are where we are at this point in the season," guard Daniel Gibson said. "It didn't just affect him, it affected all of us. We're just going to continue to use that as motivation. We're going to continue to show that we are one of the premier teams in this league.
"We feel like in order to get respect, we have to gain it. We're just going to go out and win games."
But the Cavaliers, 23-0 at home and leading the Central Division by 12½ games, believe their play in the first half earned them multiple selections along with Boston, Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio.
Williams, a sixth-year veteran point guard obtained from the Milwaukee Bucks in an offseason three-team trade, has averaged 17.1 points and 4.2 assists per game this season in Cleveland. He has averaged 21.3 ppg in his last 10 games, including a season-high 43 against Sacramento on Jan. 27.
Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry was disappointed Williams was bypassed.
"I know Commissioner Stern has followed our team's success, but maybe doesn't appreciate how important Mo has been to our team," Ferry said in an e-mail to the AP. "We have had a great start. We have been really good on both ends of the court, have the top record in the league, and thus far have led the league in point differential by a wide margin all year long."
"He should have been on there, so it's nice," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Thursday night. "Having those three doing things together is nice, so I'm happy with the news."
Allen will be making his ninth All-Star appearance, having also been added as an injury replacement last season. He scored 28 points in New Orleans to help the East to a 134-128 victory over the West -- even outscoring game MVP LeBron James, who had 27.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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