Instead, it was a referendum on the chances of guard Baron Davis earning a spot on the Western Conference All-Star team. And you didn't need to be an expert exit pollster to get an idea of how the Warriors think the voting should go.
"Man, he's definitely going to make it," Warriors forward Al Harrington said. "There's no way they're going to keep him off the team this year. The way he's been playing, if he doesn't make it, it's a conspiracy."
If Davis doesn't gain a third trip to the All-Star Game he represented the Hornets in 2001-02 and 2003-04 it won't be for lack of an overstuffed statistical resume: His per-game averages are 22.4 points (12th in the NBA), 8.2 assists (seventh), 4.8 rebounds and 2.37 steals (second).
"He certainly deserves to (be an All-Star), and his numbers will speak for themselves," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "And our record is good enough that he should be considered by anybody. I would hope that he makes it . . . But hey, there's a lot of competition. Somebody always gets left out that's deserving."
That's a near certainty this time around. The fans select two starting guards, and then the Western Conference coaches can pick at least two and as
Right now, the leading vote-getters for the two starting spots are Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady of Houston, although Iverson and Steve Nash of Phoenix are gaining ground on theinjured Rocket. In addition to those four players, other top candidates include Davis, San Antonio's Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, Portland's Brandon Roy, Utah's Deron Williams and New Orleans' Chris Paul.
Despite the crowded field, don't expect Davis to come out with posters or leaflets or some other kind of attention-drawing device.
"I'm just not the one to campaign for myself. I do what I've got to do on the court, try to get better and make sure that my team is winning," Davis said. "The respect of my peers is more important than anything, and the respect of my teammates. I'm not one to kind of look at the All-Star game and say that I gotta get there, or I deserve it."
Nelson is willing to make calls on Davis' behalf, if that's what the candidate wants. But even a conversation with the second-winningest coach in NBA history might not be enough to open the mind of someone such as Hornets coach Byron Scott, whose legendary clashes with Davis were a large part of why the latter was traded to the Warriors in the first place.
"Everybody's got their own personal opinions," Davis said when asked about Scott's potential vote. "The bottom line is, you prove who you are out there on that floor. No matter what no vote says, or what somebody else says, I've proven myself out there. If they don't think I'm as good as any other player in this league, so be it. But I know that my job is to go out there and prove everybody wrong."
NOTES: As planned, the Warriors signed rookie guard CJ Watson to a 10-day contract Tuesday. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder "looked like a really nice young player," Nelson said. "His game is simple, and he made a lot of really good basketball plays." Watson's instructions were simple as well. "They just want me to come in and play my game, do the same thing I was doing in the D-League, be aggressive and not be passive," Watson said. ... Watson has heard all about new teammate Kelenna Azubuike's successful transition last season from the D-League to the NBA proper, because they share the same agent, Mike Higgins. "That's all my agent talks about, is (Azubuike's) story," Watson said. "It's pretty cool seeing him. Hopefully, I'll be the next story." ... The Warriors scrimmaged four-on-four while big-minute players Davis, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins worked out individually. ... Forward Brandan Wright had his day cut short when Harrington made a lunging attempt for a swiping steal, but accidentally dealt the rookie a hand to the left eye. "These kids are not built like they used to be," Harrington joked.