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McGrady wants Jordan to start final All-Star Game

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McGrady wants Jordan to start final All-Star Game

Postby Big-O Mark » Thu Jan 30, 2003 9:49 am

McGrady wants Jordan to start final All-Star Game

Wednesday, January 29

ESPN.com news services

Michael Jordan is fine with coming off the bench in his final All-Star Game. Tracy McGrady, however, has other ideas.

McGrady, a starter for the game, wants Jordan's kids to see their father start and will move to the bench to make it happen, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

"I have thought about this for a while. I'll do it, absolutely," McGrady told the newspaper. "For what Michael Jordan has done for this league and this game, I'll do anything.

"It's his last All-Star Game. I don't have any problem with that. I'll get in the game. I'd love to see it. I have to call the league office to see if I can do it."

Jordan plans on retiring at the end of the season.

"T-Mac wanting to do that doesn't surprise me," Magic coach Doc Rivers said in the Sentinel. "As aloof as he looks, he has a real sense for the history of the game. And he doesn't look at it like he's kissing Michael's butt. He wants to beat Michael's butt any other time."

A league official told the Sentinel it's possible Jordan could start.

"That's a terrific gesture from Tracy," said the official who requested anonymity. "We'll have to see. We've made exceptions before."
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Jordan reveals Iverson's offer to step aside

Postby Big-O Mark » Fri Jan 31, 2003 10:31 am

Jordan reveals Iverson's offer to step aside

Thursday, January 30

Associated Press

Jordan turned down offers from Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson to relinquish their starting spots in the All-Star Game so that Jordan could be in the starting lineup.

McGrady, the Orlando guard who led the Eastern Conference in fan balloting, made his offer Thursday. Iverson made a similar offer in a private phone call a week and a half ago, Jordan revealed before Thursday night's game between the Bucks and Washington Wizards.

"It shows what type of people they are, about the history of the game, about guys who have paved the way,'' Jordan said. "I would have done it for Dr. J. and I'm sure Dr. J. would have done it for someone else.

"That, to me, just shows how much they care about the game. I take it as a compliment, but I would rather for them to play and start and let me come off the bench.''

Jordan said Iverson called him after the starting lineups were announced earlier this month.

"He said, 'If you don't mind, I'd like to step aside and let you start,''' Jordan recounted. "No one knew about it. He called me personally and I didn't make it known.''

But Jordan said he's not bothered by not starting. In his previous 13 All-Star selections, the fans voted him in.

"I have no ill feelings,'' Jordan said. "I am very happy for them. If I hadn't done it for 14 years, OK, it's a different scenario. I experienced it for many years and I think it's something they should feel proud about.''

The 39-year-old Jordan almost certainly will retire after this season.

"I've got plenty more chances of being an All-Star starter,'' said McGrady, making his third All-Star game appearance. "It's about me being there and witnessing his last All-Star Game. It's a blessing, man. It's an honor, too.''


The game will be played Feb. 9 in Atlanta.

Jordan has averaged 20.2 points in 12 All-Star appearances, missing the 1986 contest because of injury, and was named the game's Most Valuable Player in 1988, 1996 and 1998. In 1997, he had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for the only triple-double in 51 years of NBA All-Star Game history.

"What he's done to the game, for the game, he's very inspirational, especially for a guy like me who grew up watching Michael Jordan,'' McGrady said. "He's always been known for being an All-Star starter, so why not?''

Precedent has been set for McGrady's and Iverson's offer.

John Havlicek started in 1978 because current Wizards coach Doug Collins stepped aside.

"I've always kidded him to this day that it was very difficult for a Sixer to step aside for a Celtic,'' Collins said. "But I would do it again in a minute.''

Tim Hardaway also sat in 1992 so Magic Johnson could start. Johnson turned out to be the game's MVP.

"I think it's a great move. Good p.r., Tracy, way to go,'' Milwaukee coach George Karl said. "But I'm kind of ticked that Vince Carter didn't think of it.''

Carter was named a starter in fan balloting even though he's been hurt most of the year. But Jordan said he didn't begrudge the Toronto Raptors star for not stepping aside.

"It's a Catch-22,'' Jordan said. "If he gives up his spot, some fans will be disappointed. Even me accepting Tracy's or Allen's spot would make fans look bad. That's not the way it's meant to be. Keep it the way it is. There's no bad person in this whole scenario.''
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Postby Moon Child » Fri Jan 31, 2003 12:26 pm

Its nice to see that some people in the NBA think of others and the history of the game, besides MJ.
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Postby jester22c » Fri Jan 31, 2003 4:01 pm

When is the allstar game? I havn't watched tv, little lone sports on tv, in forever but I think I might want to watch this one.
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Postby Moon Child » Fri Jan 31, 2003 4:04 pm

The game will be played Feb. 9 in Atlanta.
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Carter: Giving up spots 'slap in the face' to fans

Postby Big-O Mark » Fri Jan 31, 2003 7:56 pm

Carter: Giving up spots 'slap in the face' to fans

Friday, January 31

Associated Press

TORONTO -- Vince Carter never considered giving up his starting spot to Michael Jordan in the All-Star Game, saying it would be rude to fans who voted for the Raptors' star.

Carter was the third-leading vote-getter for the Feb. 9 All-Star Game in Atlanta despite playing in just 10 games before the final ballots were cast because of knee problems.

Carter has taken some grief this week for not offering his spot to Jordan, who was added to the Eastern Conference team as a reserve and likely will be making his final All-Star Game appearance.

Allen Iverson offered his spot to Jordan last week during a telephone call. Tracy McGrady, Carter's cousin, publicly offered to step aside Thursday. Jordan declined their offers.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion,'' Carter said Friday. "I think sometimes they just say it without sitting back and thinking, 'OK, why is he making that decision?' There is a reason why, and it's the million-plus people that voted for me.''

When asked for his thoughts on the gestures from Iverson and McGrady, Carter said, "Congratulations to them.''

Carter, who has missed 33 games this season, makes no apologies for being in the All-Star Game.

"Some of you guys say I shouldn't be there,'' he said. "That's fine, but I think I owe it to the fans to be out there on that starting lineup, for one, because they voted me in with the amount of games that I played.

"And then to really say, 'Thanks, but no thanks.' Once again, that's a slap in the face to the fans. I might as well not show up then, in my opinion.''

Jordan does not begrudge Carter for wanting to start.

"It's a Catch-22,'' Jordan said. "If he gives up his spot, some fans will be disappointed. Even me accepting Tracy's or Allen's spot would make fans look bad. That's not the way it's meant to be.''

Washington coach Doug Collins, however, suggested that someone step aside for Jordan. Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl praised McGrady for offering to give up his spot, then said, "I'm kind of ticked that Vince Carter didn't think of it.''

There have been players in the past who have given up starting spots. John Havlicek started in 1978 when Collins stepped aside. Tim Hardaway sat in 1992 so Magic Johnson could start.
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Postby Big-O Mark » Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:08 am

After all the talk, VC gives start to MJ

Sunday, February 9

Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Michael Jordan got to start after all.

In his 14th and final appearance, Jordan started the NBA All-Star game Sunday night when fellow North Carolina alum Vince Carter turned over his spot in the East lineup.

Jordan said repeatedly -- even before the game -- he didn't want to start in place of those voted in by the fans.

"Guys starting deserve to be there,'' he said in the East locker room.

Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson both offered their starting roles to Jordan. But Carter, voted in as a starter despite playing only 15 games this season, initially refused to yield his spot, saying it wasn't fair to the fans who voted for him.

Yet minutes before tipoff Sunday night, the P.A. announcer at Philips Arena announced that Jordan would start in Carter's spot.

"My decision was to start,'' Carter said. "After a while I sat back and thought about it and said, `Hey, this is his last one, he is the greatest player and I'm going to get this opportunity to come out here and play again.

"This is a chance for me to tell all my fans thank you very much for voting for me, but he deserves it, he deserves it,'' Carter said.

Jordan, who earlier came to center court as the East captain, got a rousing standing ovation during player introductions. Once the game started, however, he missed his first seven shots before hitting an easy layup.

Jordan finished with 20 points on 9-for-27 shooting, but the West beat the East 155-145 in double overtime. Jordan said he's enjoyed the weekend but was ready for it to end.

"Just get it over with,'' he said. "I'm somewhat embarrassed because I've got a feeling it's going to turn into the Michael Jordan show, which I don't want it to be,'' he said.

"I'm totallly appreciative of the respect everyone has given me. I want it to be a fun weekend and a competitive weekend. I don't want it to be just a patsy.''
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Postby Anthony » Mon Feb 10, 2003 9:43 am

...Until he comes back next year. Until Jordan can actually not play as opposed to not wanting to play I'm not counting him out.
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