| | NBA All-Star Game May Be All About the Pistons
Sunday’s NBA All-Star game could turn into a Detroit Piston’s party. Sometime during the first quarter of the, head coach Flip Saunders is planning to send his four Detroit Pistons in together.
The Pistons lead the league with a 42-9 record at the break. They have Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace as part of the Eastern Conference roster.
"I think people will understand that when we go in together, they will understand what it really is all about," Saunders said. "A few years ago ... there were rule changes that were made to make the game aesthetically better and to make the game more team oriented, not as individually oriented. I think the reward that the coaches gave our players kind of signified a little bit maybe that's the way our league is going."
"Team basketball is a lost art nowadays, but it's always going to win," Ben Wallace said. "You can win in the regular season, but if you don't play together as a team it's going to be tough to win in the playoffs teams. And I think now teams are starting to recognize that."
While the East is about Detroit, the West is about the world. The West could have Yao Ming (China), Pau Gasol (Spain), Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Steve Nash (Canada) and Tony Parker (France) all on the court at the same time. "More than anything, we know that basketball is not only a U.S. sport anymore," Nowitzki said. "It's become global over the years. We have people from China in the league, we have Africans in the league, we have Europeans in the league. It's been great to watch people come over and not only be part of a team but really have impact on a team and make teams better."
The game could also be about the NBA’s two scoring leaders, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson. Bryant has averaged 20.8 points in his six All-Star appearances, two more than Iverson "I look forward to it," Bryant said. "You know he's going to compete no matter if it's the All-Star game, on the playground, or versus the Lakers. He's going to compete hard."