It seems that basketball has a sense of humor.
When the Knicks were 1-9 this season, they toyed with the idea of signing Allen Iverson to jumpstart their moribund team. They passed on the erstwhile star and saw their team's fortunes take a turn for the better when David Lee took a more active role in the half-court offense. Iverson signed with the Sixers, where he's been hurt and ineffective on a team looking up at the Knicks in the standings.
How funny, then, that Iverson would play a role in keeping David Lee out of the All-Star Game. The reserves for the game won't be announced until Thursday night, but Frank Isola of the Daily News is reporting that Lee won't be on the team. Iverson will be, because he was voted in by fans who missed the erstwhile modifier on his status in the previous paragraph.
Iverson has played 20 games with the Sixers, is posting the lowest scoring totals of his career and offers little else in the way of production for his team. Lee, on the other hand, is averaging 19.4 points and 11.4 rebounds a night and leads NBA centers with 3.4 assists a game. He ranks 22nd in the league in stats guru John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating, much higher than Iverson and ahead of East starter Kevin Garnett as well.
Yahoo! Sports has the full rosters and Lee seems to have lost out to Al Horford of Atlanta for the backup center spot. The choice doesn't make much sense once you get beyond Atlanta's better record. Horford's a better defensive player, which matters in All-Star Games about as much as turning right in a NASCAR race. The full rosters also reveal some more dark humor for long-suffering Knicks fans. Zach Randolph, now with Memphis, got a spot on the team.
Lee could still wind up on the team in case of an injury or if Iverson comes down with an unexpected bout of humility. Fat chance on the latter, which means that the Knicks will have to rely on their sepia-toned photos of Allen Houston and Latrell Sprewell from 2001 when they want to see one of their own as an All-Star.