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Notebook: N.Y.

ALL-STAR SON: Nets forward Jayson Williams is proud he's an NBA All-Star for the first time. The honor, he said, has changed his life.

"I'm really happy. And my parents, I've never seen them more happy," Williams said. "My father is a real tough guy. He never says `I love you.' But as soon as I became an all-star everything starts and finishes with, `I love you, you know I love you.' "Williams said he wasn't the only member of his team wondering if he'd be named to the Eastern Conference all-star squad. On the day it was announced, teammate Keith Van Horn called him repeatedly.

"He was calling at 6:30, 8:30, 9:30 in the morning asking if I made it," Williams said of the rookie he refers to as his favorite player in the world. "I don't know if he was just scared to be here by himself or if he really wanted me on the team."

Williams will play in what he calls the varsity game Sunday, while Van Horn competed in the "junior varsity" or rookie game Saturday.

BUSY MAN: Hornets star Glen Rice holds claim to the title of "Busiest Man at All-Star Weekend." He'll compete in three events - 2-ball, the 3-point shooting contest and Sunday's big game.

"I'm going to be a very busy guy this weekend. It's something I look forward to. It's a challenge," said the 1997 NBA All-Star Game MVP.

BREAK IN THE ACTION: Grant Hill said All-Star Weekend is a welcome break in a long season.

"Being here with other great players is a lot of fun," the Pistons standout said. "You get a chance to hang out with All-Stars - you get to learn from them, you get to know them and you get to play with them. The pressure to go out there and be your best is not the same as it is back on your regular team."

YES AND NO: As far as Suns guard Jason Kidd is concerned, the cup is both half-full and half-empty when it comes to playing in Sunday's game.

"I'm not going to complain. I think this is every kid's dream to play in the All-Star Game," Kidd said. "I'm having that chance to fulfill it. And if it wasn't for my teammates, I wouldn't have this opportunity. I am tired, though. I wish I had the chance to go back to Phoenix."

HOME BOY: Knicks guard Charlie Ward, who competed in the 3-point shooting contest, is host New York's lone All-Star representative.

"We'd like to have someone here but no one was chosen, so there's nothing we can do about it," Ward said. "So we'll just come out and support it. A lot of guys wanted to take this break anyway."

BIG: Hawks guard Steve Smith feels like the Tom Hanks character in the movie "Big." No word if he stepped on the large musical keyboard at the nearby FAO Schwartz toy store.

"I'm a little kid again playing in the All-Star Game," Smith said. "You pretend as a little kid that you are playing in the All-Star Game. Now I am."

HARD WORK PAYS OFF: Two years ago, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was a high school senior. Now he's a starter in the NBA All-Star Game.

"I dreamed about it. I set this goal for myself. It was a high goal, and I understood that. Only hard work was holding me back," Bryant said. "I knew in the summer if I worked very hard, I could be here. The fans rewarded me by voting me in as a starter. This is icing on the cake."

THANKS FOR THE ADVICE: Clippers forward Maurice Taylor didn't get the answer he was looking for when he questioned teammate Lorenzen Wright about playing in the Schick Rookie Game. Wright played in last year's contest.

"Well, Lorenzen has a different philosophy than me," Taylor said. "He likes to rebound and defend. He told me not to shoot too many."

Sound bite:

"Bird is basically the legend in Boston and he has done so much for the Boston Celtics. He has won three rings. To be able to be coached by a future Hall of Famer is something great and unbelievable. I appreciate it." - Celtics forward Antoine Walker on playing for Pacers coach Larry Bird in the NBA All-Star Game.