‘Toine and Joe

Jason Campos

Jason Campos

Jason Campos

For a long time, the sports media outside of 128 has ignored two rising superstars in the Boston sports scene, Antoine Walker and Joe Thornton. Yet recognition came for Walker and perhaps it will come for Thornton.

The Boston Celtic co-captain was recently named a starter for the All-Star Game on February 10 in the City of Brotherly Love. Walker pushed pass perennial All-Star favorite Grant Hill, who is out for the season with an injury, to secure his second berth in an All-Star Game during his career.

After getting snubbed from last year’s contest, Walker’s excellent play and versatility this year prompted voters to elevate the Kentucky Wildcat to starter status. For several years now, Walker’s play has been comparable to other All-Stars, but he had been labeled as a whiner, which, in his case, did not help his national outlook.

If things go as they should, teammate and fellow co-captain Paul Pierce should be accompanying Walker to Philadelphia. It has been a long time since the Celtics have sent two players to the All-Star. It’s about time that it happened again.

Now, on to Joe Thornton. Although his appearance as a primetime player is recent, he was snubbed nevertheless by the Canadian National Team. How is it that the player who is leading the National Hockey League in scoring is not going to the Olympics as a member of his country? Beats me, but those in charge of selecting the team could have serious egg on their face if Thornton somehow wins the Hart Trophy, the NHL’s award for the Most Valuable Player. At least he’ll be playing in the NHL All-Star on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Thornton brings an attitude and skill to the Bruins that hasn’t been seen on Causeway Street since Cam Neely roamed the ice back in the late eighties and early nineties. His play, along with overall improved team skill and grit, has resurrected the interest in the Bruins in this town.

The good news with a cache of All-Stars for the Celtics and Bruins is that it usually coincides with good team play and playoff appearances. Wouldn’t that be nice for us who remember the good old days of playoff yore?