As many jeers as cheers for All-Star selections

The National Basketball Association announced the reserves for the 2001 All Star Game in Washington, D.C. there are quite a few glaring omissions, especially out west.

Put an asterisk next to David Robinson’s name that reads: “Dirk Nowitzki was unable to attend.”

Somebody tell Steve Francis that David Stern addressed his All-Star invite to the Summit, rather than the Compaq Center.

I guess it is obvious why eighth leading score Antawn Jamison received zero love from the coaches, because he, just like his Warriors squad, are in a league of their own.

The NBA, a league that engages in a daily battle for credibility, would do well to showcase a seven-foot power forward who’s smooth jump shot can be outdone only by his surfer boy doo.

I guess it would be bad press for someone to reach out and touch a guy who put up 51 points on two consecutive nights.

The league would also invoke some positive vibes into the annual oop-fest by inviting a pint size, point guard with a 48-inch vert who consistently keeps an aging Houston team in games. But then again the league has already anointed its poster boy leaper in the fan-tastic Vince Carter.

Nowitzki, who averages over 21 points and 9 boards, was handed the shaft by the admiral who barely manages to drop 14 while playing along Tim Duncan.

Francis on the other hand nets nearly 20 a contest, but instead of marketing the point guard of the future, they instead put the mouth, pardon, the glove on center stage.

Jamison could be the most deserving of the three. Not only did he make Kobe his hand puppet as he dropped a half dollar on the Lakers, he gives opponents of the Warriors someone to actually key on.

The majority of the Western Conference All Star roster is deserving, and if the Eastern Conference didn’t exist then we wouldn’t have this problem of bad players in the All Star game.

The original Alabama slammer, Antonio McDyess, is making his first All Star appearance representing the resurgent Denver Nuggets.

Karl Malone will have to interrupt his vacation to join his fraternity of power forwards in Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett.

High flying, lane slashing Michael Finley is establishing himself as a regular at the annual event, as he will make his second straight All Star appearance.

Gary Payton will ironically round out the list of reserves, despite his reservations about Jason Kidd starting in his place.

Joining the Phoenix pass-master in the starting lineup is M.V.P. candidate Chris Webber, Duncan and bosom buddies Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The question remains however: What language will Kobe use to say “I need more touches?”

Comb the plains of tomorrow’s back page for the Eastern Conference All Stars.