All-Star Sunday is upon us, with the 66th NBA All-Star game set to tip at 8 p.m. on Sunday night (Feb. 19), live from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, La., on TNT. It definitely won’t lack excitement, given the captivating storylines from Kevin Durant to Russell Westbrook. The teams will surely put on a show for the fans in attendance, and those watching across the globe. Now, you surely know the big names gracing the court such as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Steph Curry, but there are always a few players that sneak into the end of the bench of the 24-man selection process. Refresh your memory, and let us know if you remember any of these five NBA players appearing in the All-Star game.
Josh Howard, Dallas Mavericks – 2007
Josh Howard carved out a nice career for himself as a small forward in the NBA. Most people wouldn’t know that he actually appeared in the 2007 All-Star game as a reserve for the Western Conference. The Dallas Maverick scored three-points while grabbing four rebounds in about 20 minutes on the floor. Howard’s career seemed to go downhill after he admitted to ESPN before a playoff game in 2008 that he smoked weed during the off-season. He has since got into coaching after two torn ACLs ended his career after 11 years in the league.
Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats – 2010
Gaining notoriety while playing for a small market team in Charlotte is no easy task, but “Crash” of the Michael Jordan-owned franchise did just that in 2010, for his first and only All-Star appearance. Wallace only scored two-points in 15 minutes of playing time in a close 141-139 victory for the Eastern Conference. He went on to finish the 2010 campaign averaging a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, the best season of his career.
Charles Oakley, New York Knicks – 1994
The 53-year-0ld made headlines earlier in February, after being dragged out of Madison Square Garden and arrested for an altercation with Knicks’ owner James Dolan. Oakley was the heart and soul of those 90s Knick teams, but you wouldn’t expect a role player like Oak to be rewarded with an All-Star appearance like he was in 1994. Oakley averaged nearly 12 points and 12 rebounds in the best campaign of his career, which helped lead the New York Knicks to the NBA Finals. The Knicks were well represented in the 1994 All-Star game in Minneapolis, with John Starks and Patrick Ewing joining Oakley on the floor.
Nick Van Exel, Los Angeles Lakers – 1998
The popular Nick Van Exel bounced around the NBA, but will be most remembered for his days as a Laker, capped off with an All-Star appearance in his last year with the team in 1998. Van Exel joined three other teammates in the game, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Eddie Jones. The man who was name-dropped by Jay Z made the most of his 20 minutes on the floor, dropping 13 points even though the Western Conference’s efforts came up short. The 45-year-0ld is currently an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers – 2012
Bynum was drafted out of high school in 2005 with all the talent in the world for a seven-foot big man. It seemed to all be coming together for Bynum in the 2011-12 season, where he was tabbed as a starter in the NBA All-Star game along with fellow Laker, Kobe Bryant. Bynum only appeared in the game for five minutes and was held scoreless. The 29-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career averaging 18 points, and nearly 12 rebounds per game, before being run out of the league just two years later with short stints in Cleveland and Indiana.
Did you remember these guys in their playing days? Either way, enjoy the All-Star game tonight!