Has played only 19 games
Iverson voted All-Star starter
Celtics’ Garnett also fans’ selection
Has played only 19 games
NEW YORK - Allen Iverson was voted to start the All-Star Game for the Eastern Conference along with Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, while Steve Nash and Tim Duncan made late moves to claim starting spots for the Western Conference as the NBA announced the results of fan balloting yesterday.
Nash passed the inactive Tracy McGrady as the second guard, while Duncan disappointed Dallas fans hoping to see Dirk Nowitzki start by rallying past the Mavericks forward.
LeBron James was the leading vote-getter for the Feb. 14 game at Cowboys Stadium, becoming the first player to earn at least 2.5 million votes three times. He will make his sixth All-Star appearance, all as a starter.
“The fans still love and see what I do every night and they appreciate it, and I appreciate them for electing me as an All-Star starter,’’ James said before the Cavaliers hosted the Lakers last night. “It’s still special.’’
Joining James, Iverson, and Garnett as East starters were Miami guard Dwyane Wade and Orlando center Dwight Howard.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was picked in the West along with Phoenix center Amare Stoudemire and Denver forward Carmelo Anthony.
Starters were decided by fan balloting at NBA arenas and electronically. The reserves will be chosen by votes from the head coaches in each conference and will be announced Thursday.
Garnett’s selection was his 13th, trailing only Shaquille O’Neal (15) among active players.
The fans still love Iverson, even though he’s played only 19 games during the worst season of his career. He appeared on the West ballot since he began the season in Memphis, but he and the Grizzlies parted ways after only three games.
Iverson’s votes counted in the East since he rejoined the Philadelphia 76ers, his longtime team. He is averaging only 14.8 points with the 76ers, but will get a shot at earning a third All-Star Game MVP award if he chooses to play.
Bothered by a sore knee, Iverson said he would consider his health before deciding whether to play in the All-Star Game for the 10th time. He’s been an All-Star for 11 straight seasons, but missed the 2007 game because of injury.
“I just want to thank everybody for their support this season and it’s an honor that the fans have voted me into the All-Star Game as a starter,’’ Iverson said in a statement. “The fans are who make us and make the NBA so popular. This year is even more special because I’ll be representing a city and fans that I love and a team that has been such a big part of my life throughout my career.’’
The NBA expects more than 80,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium, which would be the largest crowd ever to attend a basketball game.