Tomorrow, 7 p.m.
Spurs assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo, Antawn Jamison's first coach in the NBA, wasn't surprised to see that Jamison has developed into an all-star. "He's been a very good player from Day One," said Carlesimo, who coach Jamison for 1½ seasons in Golden State. "He came from a quality program. He's a first-rate kid. I've always felt that he had the ability."
But Carlesimo didn't start the former North Carolina Tar Heel until halfway through Jamison's rookie season in 1999, playing veteran forwards Terry Cummings and Chris Mills instead. "We chose to go with those other guys and bring him off the bench. I don't know if it was the best thing for him or not. I'm sure he would say it wasn't and maybe he's right," Carlesimo said.
"But the point is, he handled a situation that I'm sure he wasn't thrilled with probably, professionally. And most rookies -- most young players, period, much less a rookie that comes out with the kind of notoriety that he had -- probably wouldn't have handled it the way he did. He has worked very hard and it's great to see him have the kind of success he's having." . . .
Tim Duncan missed his second consecutive game with a sprained right ankle, becoming the third NBA all-star the Wizards didn't have to face at MCI Center this season. The Phoenix Suns arrived on Jan. 15 without point guard Steve Nash and lost, 108-103. The Philadelphia 76ers came on Jan. 26 without Allen Iverson and lost, 117-107. But Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan doesn't think his team is getting any breaks. "Somebody -- what's his name? Willie Green -- showed up as Allen," Jordan said about Green, who scored a career-high 32 points for the 76ers in that game. . . .
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich has two championship rings, but he will coach his first all-star team next week. Popovich said he got used to the all-star break and spending some time alone, watching indie films, eating at nice restaurants and evaluating his team's performance. "All my plans were made," Popovich said. "Now that I'm there, it's time to be a big boy and figure out ways to enjoy yourself. It'll be fun to watch those guys play and not give a [darn] about if they play defense or don't; enjoy the talent and not get in their way."
-- Michael Lee