West joins Paul as All-Star reserve; Scott will coach

Thursday, January 31, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Everyone has known for weeks that Chris Paul would be named an All-Star reserve by the Western Conference coaches. When you’re considered a serious MVP candidate – as CP has been – you’re a virtual lock to make it. But I have to be honest with you: I didn’t think Hornets power forward David West was going to be picked.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I thought he didn’t deserve the honor. It’s just that after looking over countless All-Star reserve predictions that have been published lately, I noticed that West’s name wasn’t showing up consistently. With so many big names in this conference, I figured that the 6-foot-9 Xavier (Ohio) product would have to wait at least one more year, even though New Orleans is near the top of the standings.

It came as a pleasant surprise Thursday to learn that he had made the team. TNT reporter Jim Huber and a video crew from the network made a trip to the New Orleans Arena today to interview West, who definitely seemed a bit taken aback by his All-Star recognition.

Huber told West that TNT’s Charles Barkley calls West “the most underrated player in the NBA,” to which West basically responded that he is cool with receiving little attention. In some ways, West is a throwback kind of player – he genuinely seems to just want to play basketball. Some of the other stuff that often comes with NBA stardom – whether it’s TV commercials or endorsement deals – doesn’t seem to excite him much.

The Hornets received more good news Thursday when Byron Scott locked up the head-coaching post of the West All-Stars, as a result of Dallas' defeat in Boston. If you’d like to congratulate West and Paul on their first All-Star Game invites, as well as Scott on his big honor, please leave a comment in this blog. We’ll try to use as many of the comments as possible in an upcoming GameTime program page.