NBA All-Star 2016 preview


downloadESPN NBA Analysts Chauncey Billups and P.J. Carlesimo both are involved in the network’s coverage of several events during NBA All-Star 2016 this weekend in Toronto. Billups as a contributor on ESPN SportsCenter, and Carlesimo will be covering several events for ESPN Radio, which will be covering all of the NBA All-Star 2016 events.

Both Billups and Carlesimo participated on a media conference call with several reporters, including the MSR. Following are excerpts from the one-hour call:

Carlesimo said of Tyronn Lue, the recently named Cleveland head coach, who will be coaching the East team on Sunday: “I think he’s going to be an excellent NBA coach. First reason, is the same reason anybody’s been a successful coach in this league, he’s got very good players. He’s got an excellent roster and he knows what he’s doing.

“I love the way he’s handling the whole thing because people are constantly baiting him into ‘you’re doing this better, you’re doing that better,’ and he’s being very, very [diplomatic], as he should be as a coach; he’s being very kind to David Blatt” (who was fired a few weeks ago).

Billups: “I think a couple of things that are going to (make) Tyronn Lue a very good coach in this league…connectability and relatability. He can do it. Whether the guy deserves it or not. The only metric that’s there is if they give it to him, they felt he deserved it. So be happy for him.”

The MSR asked about any players who deserved it but didn’t make this year’s All-Star game. Carlesimo: “I don’t like the fans picking, to be honest.(Charlotte’s) Kemba Walker has done a great job. Tony Parker (San Antonio) and Dirk (Nowitzki of Dallas) surprised me a little bit [not being named or voted in].

“If I was voting myself, I wouldn’t have known what to do with J.J. Redick or DeAndre Jordan or Blake [Griffin] because you can make a case for all of them. Damian Lillard is having a great year.

“But there are only so many slots. I don’t think anybody is not deserving. It was a tough year to vote. I’m glad I wasn’t voting because there were a lot of guys that you could make a case for that deserved to be in Toronto.”

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to