L.A. Times: Good news for Phil Jackson: He won’t be coaching in the All-Star game this season.
Bad news for Pau Gasol: He’ll have to impress coaches from other teams to make the Western Conference squad for the Feb. 14 game.
Jackson despises coaching in the All-Star game — he’d rather enjoy a long weekend of rest and relaxation — and he won’t have to worry about it this season because of an NBA rule that bans coaches from appearing in it two seasons in a row.
Gasol, however, has some work to do.
He sat out the first 11 games because of a strained hamstring and will have to beat out a crowded field of forwards to return to the game for a second consecutive season.
Denver’s Carmelo Anthony is a slam dunk to get voted into the game by fans. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan will also be there, either as the second starter or as a reserve.
It’s still early, but other possible reserve forwards are Gasol, Utah’s Carlos Boozer, Memphis’ Rudy Gay, Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and, yes, Houston’s Trevor Ariza.