Miami coach Erik Spoelstra went with one of his own players as a replacement starter for the East squad in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Houston, naming Heat forward Chris Bosh to fill in for injured Boston guard Rajon Rondo.
Spoelstra, who will coach the East team, announced the decision on the Heat’s website Friday morning. He had hinted for more than a week that he would go with one of his own players as a sub for Rondo, who is sidelined after undergoing knee surgery.
Bosh will join an East starting lineup with Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Celtics forward Kevin Garnett.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving had been considered a possibility to replace Rondo.
---Embattled NBA players union chief Billy Hunter, who was placed on indefinite leave Feb. 1 as executive director, and his attorneys released a rebuttal to a report by the National Basketball Players Association questioning his leadership and management. They said he did not steal or embezzle money and should not lose his job
Hunter has not been invited to attend a board of player representatives meeting this weekend in Houston during All-Star weekend activities. The players are expected to vote on Hunter’s fate.
---Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway and other former NBA standouts were selected as finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Joining Payton and Hardaway on the list were Mitch Richmond, Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Guy Lewis, Rick Pitino, Jerry Tarkanian, Tom Heinsohn, Sylvia Hatchell and Dawn Staley.
The 2013 class will be selected at the Final Four in April.