Turns out the Nets have an All-Star after all.
Nearly a week after failing to get selected as a reserve by the coaches, Brook Lopez was named Wednesday to the Eastern Conference's All-Star Team by commissioner David Stern as an injury replacement.
With Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who was voted a starter by the fans, suffering a torn ACL Sunday that ended his season, it left an open spot. But rather than go with another guard, Stern tabbed Lopez, sending the fifth-year center to his first All-Star Game.
"It's a huge honor," Lopez said in a statement before the Nets hosted the Heat Wednesday night. "First and foremost, I couldn't have done it without my teammates. They make my job 100 times easier . . . They gift wrap me buckets and take a lot of attention away from me on the court.
"It's something I have been working toward, and it's been a goal of mine."
Lopez entered Wednesday night averaging 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks, and P.J. Carlesimo always thought he was deserving. "Whatever the commissioner's rationale was, we like it.," the Nets interim coach said. "It's great for us. It's super great for him personally."
Back in town
Mikhail Prokhorov was in the building, getting the first up-close look at his team since Dec. 28, when he cut his trip to Canada short after Avery Johnson's firing. Prokhorov, who'll also be at tomorrow night's game versus the Bulls, was expected to meet with general manager Billy King to discuss the job Carlesimo has done.
"I don't feel a need to or anything like that," Carlesimo said of talking to Prokhorov. "I don't think he's coming in to see me. The fact that it's Miami and Chicago might've had something to do with it."