February 25, 2012 in Sports

Focus shifts to Howard with All-Star game in Orlando

Brian Mahoney Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. – Carmelo Anthony saw the wall of reporters and knew immediately who was being surrounded.

Back in New York, it would be Jeremy Lin.

But with All-Star weekend in Orlando, the focus is shifting back to where it was to start the season, to Dwight Howard’s future.

That means Howard gets the same questions Anthony was peppered with last year during the NBA’s midseason break, just before he was traded.

“Thank you, Dwight!” Anthony yelled. “It’s your turn!”

The center has asked for a trade, but he’s still here and there’s no telling for how much longer. The Magic could deal him before the March 15 trade deadline, or hold onto him all season and risk losing him while getting nothing back in July.

Howard didn’t want to discuss that.

“All the other stuff can wait,” Howard said. “I just want people to have fun and enjoy themselves. This is All-Star weekend. This is a time of celebration for guys who’ve had great first halves and guys who have never even seen this.”

Howard’s table was between Anthony and LeBron James, two of the league’s best-known stars. Yet neither had anywhere near the attention of Howard, and Anthony was glad to yield the spotlight after his status overshadowed last year’s festivities in Los Angeles.

“I’m glad it’s not me anymore,” Anthony said.

Lin wasn’t forgotten, even after James and the Heat on Thursday forced him into the worst game since he emerged as the NBA’s biggest story. Many All-Stars were asked about the Knicks guard, who was playing only in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge featuring rookies and second-year players yet was given his own evening press conference to accommodate the large media interest. He scored two points in the game.

In the Rising Stars Challenge, Cleveland rookie Kyrie Irving made eight 3-pointers and finished with 34 points, helping Team Chuck beat Team Shaq 146-133.

Indiana’s Paul George added 23 points for Team Chuck.

Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson scored 20 points to lead Team Shaq.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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