NBA All-Star Game notebook: Players talking lockout

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: February 20, 2011

Atlanta guard Joe Johnson, a five-time, All-Star, flew under the radar once again at All-Star Weekend. Despite being one of the league's best players and most lethal scorers, Johnson's interview table is always frequented by only a handful of media members.

“I don't attract them,” said the soft-spoken Johnson. “And when I say I don't attract them, it's not about my play on the court. But I think it's all about your perception and how you come off to people. I'm just a quiet, laid back guy. That's just me. You never see me out here trying to get attention. But it doesn't bother me at all. I play the game for the love, not for anything else. That's just the way I was brought up.”

FAMOUS FACES

As usual, the NBA All-Star game attracted tons of celebrities, a who's who of musicians, actors and former athletes. The list includes: Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Jack Nicholson, Bill Russell, Steven Tyler, Stevie Wonder, Gene Simmons, Spike Lee, George Lopez, Bruno Mars, John Legend, Mark Curry, Pooch Hall, Keri Hilson, Ciara, Dustin Hoffman, Nick Cannon, Neyo, Warren Beatty, Julius Erving, James Worthy, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Darryl Dawkins, Dominique Wilkins, Rick Fox, Will Perdue, Venus Williams, Kanye West, Ellen Pompeo, Piers Morgan, Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte Noah Wyle, Terrell Owens and Snoop Dogg.

BRIEFLY

Just before the starting lineups were announced, the public address announcer mispronounced teenage music sensation Bieber's name, referring to him as “Berber.”…Before tipoff, the Eastern Conference's starting lineup stood at the scorer's table and all threw powder in the air like LeBron James. …East coach Rivers subbed in all four Celtics All-Stars for the first time with 6:37 remaining in the first quarter. They entered to a chorus of boos. When Ray Allen air-balled his first shot attempt, the crowd erupted into a chant of “Air-ball.”… Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, who scored the first basket in NBA All-Star Game history 60 years ago, was in attendance. …Blake Griffin made his first appearance with 4:21 left in the first quarter. His first alley-oop dunk came on a pass from Deron Williams.



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