Monday , Dec , 29 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

George Karl Says Nenè Playing at Close to All-Star Level

Nuggets coach George Karl doesn’t believe Nene will be stepping on the court in Phoenix on Feb. 15.

"I’m sure he’s probably not going to make the All-Star team, but he’s close to an All-Star player,” Karl said Sunday about his center.

Karl probably is right. But if loose balloting wasn’t permitted in All-Star voting, he’d have more of a chance to be wrong.

NBA coaches, who vote for All-Star reserves, are instructed to select two guards, two forwards, a center and two players at any position. They can’t vote for their own players.

Coaches used to adhere to the letter of the law and vote for centers who actually started at center. The drawback was that, in some years, there were no true centers worthy of being All-Star backups.