Four Pistons Named as Reserves for 2006 NBA All-Star Game

Five players will make their inaugural NBA All-Star appearance
NEW YORK, Feb. 9 -- Detroit Pistons guards Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton will be appearing in their first NBA All-Star Game, joining frontcourt teammates Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace after having been selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2006 NBA All-Star Game. This is the first time in NBA All-Star Game history that the coaches have selected four teammates as reserves and the seventh time that a team will have four representatives in the All-Star Game. The 2006 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Toyota Center in Houston.

Joining the Pistons foursome as reserves will be first-time All-Star forward Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors with forwards Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics and Vince Carter of the New Jersey Nets rounding out the Eastern reserves.

Two Western Conference players are also making their initial All-Star appearance as center Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies and guard Tony Parker of the 2005 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs have each been invited to Houston. Also named to the Western Conference All-Star team are guard Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics and forwards Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Elton Brand of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Shawn Marion of the Phoenix Suns.

The 14 players selected -- seven each from the Eastern and Western Conferences -- were chosen by the 30 NBA head coaches, who were asked to vote for seven players in their respective conferences -- two guards, two forwards, one center and two players regardless of position. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

Previously selected as starters for the East through the 2006 NBA All-Star Balloting Program were Cleveland’s LeBron James, Indiana’s Jermaine O'Neal, Miami’s Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade and Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson. Houston’s Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Phoenix’s Steve Nash and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan will start for the West.

The 2005-06 Pistons joins the Celtics (1952-53, 1961-62 and 1974-75), L.A. Lakers (1961-62 and 1997-98) and Philadelphia 76ers (1982-83) as the only teams in All-Star Game history to have four players selected to play in an single All-Star Game.

The selections of Gasol (Spain), Nowitzki (Germany) and Parker (France) along with voted-starters Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Nash (Canada) and Yao (China), gives the 2006 NBA All-Star Game a record-tying six international players in one year. The 2003, 2004 and 2005 NBA All-Star Games each featured six international players on the rosters.

Should any player be unable to participate in the All-Star Game due to injury, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select the replacement.

Flip Saunders of Detroit coaches the Eastern Conference All-Stars and Avery Johnson makes his All-Star coaching debut representing the Western Conference. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is not eligible to coach in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game because he coached in last year’s All-Star Game.

The NBA All-Star Game will be televised live nationally on TNT in the United States and on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada at 7 p.m. CT/ 8 p.m. ET. Live audio broadcasts are available on ESPN Radio and on in multiple languages.

For the fourth consecutive year, NBA All-Stars will wear uniforms created just for the game. This year's All-Stars will be outfitted in new uniforms from Reebok which were inspired by the exploration of space and the Texas state flag. As has become tradition, the East will be the road team wearing predominantly royal blue uniforms accented with red and silver, while the West will be the home team wearing white uniforms with red as the featured color and royal and gold accents. The NBA logo on the jersey has been enhanced with the All-Star version and the player's team is represented with the team logo on the center back neck of the jersey. will provide basketball fans with the opportunity to have their vote count towards selecting the MVP of the 55th NBA All-Star Game, as a part of the site's exclusive 2006 NBA All-Star coverage.

Through the Balloting program, which ran from Nov. 17, 2005 through Jan. 22, fans had the opportunity to vote in NBA arenas, in 19 languages on the Network, in approximately 130 Loews Cineplex Entertainment movie theaters in the United States and through mobile phones at t-zones using T-Mobile service or for any wireless carrier. This year’s All-Star Balloting partners include T-Mobile, AOL, NBA 2K6, Xbox and retailers GameStop & Electronics Boutique.

NBA All-Star 2006 is a week-long celebration that enables fans to experience the thrill of the world’s greatest athletes playing the game they love and features a full slate of community enhancing activities and fan festivals.

Pistons Head Coach Flip Saunders

On his reaction to four guys on the all-star team:
“More than anything else I'm happy for the organization and as the coach it will make it that much more special for our staff. I think it is a great honor for all of those guys. The first thing when I came here everyone always said that we never got recognized and so now, four months later, we have a situation where four guys got recognized for the all star team. I think that really signifies what we have been able to accomplish here in the first half of the season.”

On who he will chose as the starter in place of Jermaine O'Neal:
“I haven't really thought about that yet, but it probably won't be one of our guys. The first time they step on the floor, we will have them step on the floor together."

Pistons Guard Richard Hamilton

On being selected:
“I'm blessed to get this opportunity. You know, I almost didn't believe it at first, like I had to see it in writing, but it is great to know that I've been chosen to play in the game.”

On how special it will be to play with the other three guys:
“It is going to be very special. I wish Tayshaun would be there. If that would have happened, that would have been incredible because it hasn't happened before. But it will be incredible to be there with those guys and if Flip plays us all at the same time that will be even more exciting.”

Pistons Guard Chauncey Billups

On being named to the all-star team:
“I'm excited. That is something that you play for to be recognized as one of the best. I've felt like I've played like that for a couple of years now and it's nice to finally get that validation.”

On possible emotions during the game and playing with the other four guys at the same time:
“I don't really know, but I'll be able to tell you after. We are definitely going to have to work it out where all of us are on the floor together. We've got the man that is in control of it, so we should be able to work that out.”

Following are the complete rosters for the East and West teams for the 2006 NBA All-Star Game at Toyota Center in Houston:


No. Player (Team) Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate College/HS/Country Selections
1 #Chauncey Billups (Detroit) G 6-3 202 09/25/76 Colorado
4 #Chris Bosh (Toronto) F 6-10 235 03/24/84 Georgia Tech
15 Vince Carter (New Jersey) F 6-6 220 01/26/77 North Carolina
32 #Richard Hamilton (Detroit) G 6-7 193 02/14/78 Connecticut
3 *Allen Iverson (Philadelphia) G 6-0 165 06/07/75 Georgetown
23 *LeBron James (Cleveland) G 6-8 245 12/30/85 St. Vincent/St. Mary HS
7 *Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana) F 6-11 226 10/13/78 Eau Claire HS
32 *Shaquille O'Neal (Miami) C 7-1 325 03/06/72 LSU
34 Paul Pierce (Boston) F 6-6 230 10/13/77 Kansas
3 *Dwyane Wade (Miami) G 6-4 212 01/17/82 Marquette
3 Ben Wallace (Detroit) F 6-9 240 09/10/74 Virginia Union
36 Rasheed Wallace (Detroit) F 6-11 225 09/17/74 North Carolina

Head Coach: Flip Saunders (Detroit)
Assistant Coaches: Sidney Lowe, Ron Harper, Don Zierden
Athletic Trainer: Ted Arzonico (Orlando)


No. Player (Team) Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate College/HS/Country Selections
34 Ray Allen (Seattle) G 6-5 205 07/20/75 Connecticut
42 Elton Brand (L.A. Clippers) F 6-8 265 03/11/79 Duke
8 *Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers) G 6-6 220 08/23/78 Lower Merion HS
21 *Tim Duncan (San Antonio) F 7-0 260 04/25/76 Wake Forest
21 Kevin Garnett (Minnesota) F 6-11 220 05/19/76 Farragut Academy (HS)
16 #Pau Gasol (Memphis) C 7-0 227 07/06/80 Spain
31 Shawn Marion (Phoenix) F 6-7 228 05/07/78 UNLV
1 *Tracy McGrady (Houston) F 6-8 210 05/24/79 Mt. Zion Academy (HS)
11 *Yao Ming (Houston) C 7-6 310 09/12/80 China
13 *Steve Nash (Phoenix) G 6-3 180 02/07/74 Santa Clara
41 Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas) F 7-0 245 06/19/78 Germany
9 #Tony Parker (San Antonio) G 6-2 177 05/17/82 France

Head Coach: Avery Johnson (Dallas)
Assistant Coaches: Del Harris, Rolando Blackman, Joe Prunty
Athletic Trainer: Keith Jones (Houston)

*denotes starter
#denotes first-time selection