Bosh, 7 first-timers headed to All-Star game

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Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh reacts after a basket against the Miami Heat during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto January 27, 2010. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK: Local products Chris Bosh of Toronto and Deron Williams of Utah are headed back to Dallas for next month's NBA All-Star game, which will include seven first-time selections.

The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks each had two players picked as reserves on Thursday for the February 14 game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo were chosen from the Celtics, while the Hawks are sending Joe Johnson and Al Horford.

Rondo and Horford will both make their first All-Star appearances, as will Oklahoma City swingman Kevin Durant, Charlotte's Gerald Wallace, Memphis forward Zach Randolph, Chicago's Derrick Rose and Williams.

Among those missing out were New York's David Lee and Los Angeles Clippers center Chris Kaman.

Bosh, from Dallas, is an All-Star for the fifth straight season.

"Just to be able to be an All-Star year in and year out, that's a special feeling, but the fact that it's in Dallas is kind of a bittersweet thing," Bosh said. "Sweet because I get to play in front of my home crowd and it's bitter because everybody wants tickets."

Bosh, Pierce and Johnson are the only reserves on the Eastern Conference roster with All-Star game experience.

"There's going to come a day that they don't pick me," Pierce said. "So every time I get a chance to make it, it's definitely an honor."

The remainder of the Western Conference reserves were guards Chris Paul of New Orleans and Brandon Roy of Portland, forward Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers and forward Dirk Nowitzki, who was picked for the ninth time and will represent the home Dallas Mavericks.

"It is an honor to represent the Mavericks in my new hometown of Dallas," Nowitzki said. "I am always thankful for the opportunity to play in the All-Star game. We hope to put on a good show for our fans."