Saturday , Feb , 07 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

There’s no “I” in All-Star

In the me first NBA it’s rare to find players who are about the team and more concerned about their teams standings then their contract situation. Unfortunately unselfishness is a quality lacking in many NBA superstars (not mention most people anywhere) but here and now I bring you a list all my own NBA All-Stars who won’t make any headlines or show up on Sports center but give up themselves for the better of the team.

There's noCenter- Ervin Johnson (Minnesota) – Johnson in his first year as a Timberwolf has started many games this year, only due to injury to Olowokandi, but back in his Milwaukee Bucks days Ervin actually asked out of the starting line-up citing that he could do more for the team coming off the bench.

Forward- Chris Andersen (Denver)- If anyone has seen this guy, he is pure energy. Coming off the Nuggets bench, Andersen an undrafted free agent pick-up, he’s among the top 20 in blocked shots and has played in all games this season except for one.

Forward- Pau Gasol (Memphis)- One of the quietest players in the league he just goes about getting his 17 points and 8 boards a game. In helping turn the Grizz from a laughing stock to one of the up and coming teams with a playoff shot, Gasol has never complained about the years of losing or the fact that the former rookie of the year has never gotten any publicity, he just wants to win.

Guard- Michael Redd (Milwaukee)- You may be asking what an actual NBA All-Star is doing on this list but Redd has had All-Star potential for two seasons now, but due to the fact he was coming off the bench he didn’t get the minutes or exposure necessary to be spotted. Even after the Bucks matched Dallas’ contract offer to keep him a Buck, Redd didn’t say anything when he found himself back on the bench, now under coach Terry Porter Redd is getting the minutes and doing the same things he has been for 2 1/2 seasons.

Guard- Ronald Murray (Seattle)- After being a afterthought in the Gary Payton trade, Murray started this year as one of the NBA’s biggest surprises averaging over 20 points a game for the first couple weeks. Of course as soon as Ray Allen was healthy again, Murray was back on the bench, the young man never complained or thought his chance at contributing was over. Ronald “Flip” Murray learned quickly that for the team sometimes you have to play your role, but when the opportunity to help in a major role, he took advantage.

6th Man- Stacey Augmon (New Orleans)- He was a top 10 draft pick, an All-Star, one of the NBA’s high flyers, even has a cool nickname “The Plastic Man”. But Augmon for the past few seasons now has been the sixth man on a perennial playoff team in Charlotte and now New Orleans. Augmon’s game is much less flashy then when he first broke in with Atlanta, but Stacey has accepted his role, plays three positions, and does it all without saying a word to his coaches.

Coach- Don Nelson (Dallas)- One of the winningest coaches in NBA history has to be doing something right. What he does is coach when he needs to, but when things are running smooth he checks his ego and lets the players play. Also running such a wide open run-n-gun type offence in Dallas and earlier in Golden State, keeps his style one of the most entertaining in the NBA.