Tuesday, I asked Ellis, who has vacation plans that involve fishing, if he would be willing to forgo those plans if he gets the call from the league.
ELLIS: “I’ll think about it,” drawing a chorus of laughs.
Looks like Ellis won’t have to give up his chill time on the water. The league announced today that Commissioner David Stern has pegged Denver Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups as the All-Star alternate, taking the place of injured New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. Billups’ fifth All-Star appearance means Ellis won’t be making his first.
The Northwest Division-leading Nuggets have the second-best record in the Western Conference and third-best record in the NBA. The Nuggets went 12-3 in January. Eight of those wins are over teams with a winning record, including wins over Division rival Utah (twice), Cleveland and Orlando. Billups averaged24.2 points, 6.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds in January. He shot 47.8 percent from 3-point range. What’s more, Carmelo Anthony played in only six of those games, increasing Billups’ responsibility.
Ellis averaged 26.6 points, 6.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds in January. But the Warriors are 4-11 in January.
GEORGE KARL TO THE DENVER POST: “He should win it, he should be honored and we should move on,” Karl said. “There’s some great guards out there and yes, Monta Ellis has had a special season. I actually think (Dallas’) Jason Kidd has had a special season. The Aaron Brooks kid (in Houston) has played great, but we have the second-best record and the man in the last six weeks has played better than the guys actually on the All-Star team, in my mind. I think it’s somewhat of a no-brainer.”