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Saturday, January 29, 2011

2011 NBA All-Star Starters Announced -- Kobe Bryant Topped All Players In Votes

  



The 2011 All-Star teams were announced on Thursday evening (January 27), and it's many of the usual suspects and superstars around the league.
In the West, the starting five are: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Yao Ming.
Melo, who has been the talk of the NBA as of late, is headed to his fourth All-Star Game, and third as a starter. With all the drama he's doing through, and the boos he's been receiving at home, in Denver, he's just happy to be chosen.
"It feels good especially at the time with everything going on," Anthony told NBA.com of his support. "I've been able to stay focused and it feels good that the fans recognize that. I appreciate it."
Kobe has been voted as a starter 13 times now -- only Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal, with 14 straight nods each, have more -- and this season is the leading vote-getter.
Paul will go into his fourth game, and second start, and rightfully so. He's currently third in the league in assists and first in steals.
Durant is a certified star in the league now, and he's only 22. He made his first All-Star Game last season, and this year, led all West forwards in voting. Durant is also leading all NBA players in scoring, averaging 28.1 points a game.

As for Yao, well, it's his eighth starting All-Star selection, but he won't play for the second time, due to problems with his feet. Right now, his return is iffy, at best. NBA.com says Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, and Denver's Nene couple fill out the spot -- the choice is at commissioner Stern's discretion.
In the East, the starting five are: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Dwight Howard.
Orlando Magic center, Dwight Howard, is the second leading vote-getter overall, behind Kobe, and first in the East, earning 2,099,204 votes. It's his fifth year as an All-Star.
"It's a great honor and I thank the fans for voting for me," Howard said. "It means a lot to be to be a guy that the fans voted for. It's the best when the fans are voting for you. That's the highest praise. The All-Star Game is still a lot of fun, and I always like being around the other guys."
James will represent the Heat for the first time, and will be participating in his seventh All-Star Game. He's currently third in the league in scoring (25.9) and 12th in assists (7.2).
D-Wade, also repping the Heat, is an All-Star for the seventh time. He's averaging 25.1 per night.
Both Rose (Chicago) and Stoudemire (New York) are starting for the first time. Stoudemire has been there six previous times though, but this will be his first as a New York Knick.
"Representing New York at the NBA All-Star Game is a huge honor for me," Stoudemire said. "If it wasn't for the support of the most loyal fans in the world, I wouldn't be in this position today."
Rose earned his second All-Star selection and first career start. He's single-handedly carried the Bulls through injuries to Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, and has Chicago running away with the Central Division.
The NBA's 60th All-Star Game is being broadcast live Feb. 20 from Staples Center in Los Angeles on TNT and 


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