Courtesy of The Japan Times’ Ed Odeven:

OSAKA — Kyoto Hannaryz guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf participated in the 3-Point Shootout during Sunday’s All-Star festivities, providing a thrill for the enthusiastic crowd at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

The former NBA standout gave fans of all ages a delightful memory to talk about in years to come. They can say they saw Abdul-Rauf while he played in Japan.

Even though the 41-year-old, averaging 13.9 points per game, probably should have been given a special spot on the Western Conference All-Star squad to drum up greater interest among fans and the media — heck, he was already there to begin with — he holds no grudges.

“I don’t mean this as no respect, but when I play basketball, I don’t play with the design of looking to make the All-Star team, I don’t,” Abdul-Rauf said in an exclusive interview with The Japan Times. “I want to do the best I can, because these things don’t define your career. Some of it is based on popularity, some is based on actually going out and getting it so even in the NBA (you can say), ‘Why didn’t he make it?’

“Again, you can’t take it too seriously, so when I play I just try to do the best I can and keep moving.”

The Hannaryz, a second-year team, are 13-13 at the season’s midway point, and that’s a disappointing fact to the former All-American scoring sensation at LSU.

The full story can be found here.