Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, All-Stars. . . .
Fittingly, if surprisingly, Griffin made it as a rookie and a Clipper . . . if one capable of averaging 27-14-4 last month . . . over Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Lamar Odom, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay.
That left Love, who may be the first 20-15 player since Moses Malone in 1983, as the best non-All-Star ever, until the NBA named him to replace Yao Ming.
Phoenix Coach Alvin Gentry, revealing one vote, said he went for Griffin.
The Lakers' Phil Jackson, who last lavished praise on an opponent when Earl Monroe was in Baltimore, called Griffin "an impact player in this game."
Exciting as it is, by 2015 the Wunderkinder will be five-time All-Stars, wishing just once they had the !@#$@! weekend off.
Welcome home, er, back, Melo
The farce, er, trade that won't die. . . .
Carmelo Anthony personally restarted talks with New Jersey on last week's visit as the Nets flattened Denver, making them 5-3 since owner Mikhail Prokhorov turned his back on Carmelo.
"Prokhorov took a load off a lot of guys on the Nets and the Nuggets and now guys can just go out there and play," said an admiring Anthony.
Having ducked a meeting with Prokhorov while trying to tweak the deal, Anthony says he's up for it.
As for reports he won't sign an extension there, Melo couldn't imagine what doofus told the media that.
Oh, right, that was you.
Dolan to N.Y.:Drop dead
With the Knicks on track to make their first playoff appearance in eight years, the New York Post reported that owner James Dolan is holding off on picking up General Manager Donnie Walsh's option for next season . . . and musing about rehiring Isiah Thomas.
Valuing loyalty to his son-of-Cablevision self above all, Dolan still regularly consults Thomas, who took a hail of bullets for him as GM/coach . . . and now has the Knicks pursuing Anthony, with no one else there keen on Melo.
Dolan, whose company kept Yankees telecasts out of Manhattan and who challenged his father, who sat him on his throne, is nothing if not bold.
Unfortunately, if tyrants can be deposed, corporately insulated sports owners are untouchable.
Nevertheless, if Jimbo rehires Isiah, he had better attach rockets to Madison Square Garden and blast off before Knicks fans get there.
If there's a vast (ka-ching!) difference between NFL and NBA owners, the sports labor climate tilted toward hope with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hoping to make a deal "in the next couple of weeks.". . . The NFL projects it will lose $1 billion in revenue if there's no deal before fall. As an ongoing NFL lockout would mean perfect cover, no lockout means a greater expectation that the NBA will start on time.
Most-watched fringe contender: With teams lining up for Steve Nash as Phoenix dropped to 15-21, the Suns went 8-4 with Marcin Gortat averaging 18-11 off the bench in the last five. . . . After short stints in Orlando, Gortat said it was like buying his first BMW — which he slept in for a week: "I have the same feeling now, getting out and playing 30 minutes. Next day, you've got to figure out what to do because you're actually tired."