Afterthought All-Star

Josh Howard's an All-Star, finally. But don't think he's thrilled about how he got to Las Vegas.

I'll provide much -- and I mean much -- more on this in next week's paper version of Unfair Park, but the NBA just named Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard to the All-Star team ... Josh Howard to the All-Star team ... Josh Howard to the All-Star team ... Is there an echo in here, or is it just that the selection is so damned hollow?

Howard wasn't voted in by fans or by Western Conference coaches, which is travesty considering the season he's having and that he's the No. 2 player on the league's No. 1 team. He's only going to Las Vegas thanks to commissioner David Stern, forced to pick two alternates because of injuries to Utah's Carlos Boozer and Houston's Yao Ming. I guess a watered-down selection is better than none. Nonetheless, don't think Josh and the Mavericks won't use the original slight as motivation the rest of the season. --Richie Whitt

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