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Yi on KG's heels in All-Star balloting

Posted by Marc J. Spears, Globe Staff  January 1, 2009 01:13 PM

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NEW YORK, Jan. 1, 2009 – Orlando’s Dwight Howard, the defending Sprite
Slam Dunk champion, remains as the overall leader with 1,709,088 votes
following the third returns of 2009 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by
T-Mobile. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Yao Ming of the
Houston Rockets still occupy the top spots in the Western Conference.

Phoenix will host the NBA All-Star Game for the third time when the
midseason classic is played for the 58th time on Sunday, Feb. 15. The
game will air live (8pm ET) on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200
countries and territories worldwide. The NBA All-Star Game was played
in Phoenix in both 1975 and 1995.

Cleveland’s LeBron James, the 2008 NBA All-Star Game MVP, paces all
Eastern Conference forwards with 1,521,272 votes, followed by Boston’s
Kevin Garnett (1,101,541), the leading vote-recipient in 2008. Miami’s
Dwyane Wade, the NBA’s leading scorer, leads all Eastern Conference
guards with 1,473,225 votes, followed by Detroit’s Allen Iverson
(1,027,153). Philadelphia’s Samuel Dalembert (239,089) is running second
to Howard at the center position.

Bryant leads all Western Conference players with 1,534,020 votes,
followed by Yao (1,396,126). The Houston Rockets’ Tracy McGrady follows
Bryant at the guard position with 961,852 votes. San Antonio’s Tim
Duncan (1,132,095) and Phoenix’s Amar’e Stoudemire (743,639) pace all
Western Conference forwards, with Shaquille O’Neal (727,975) of the
Phoenix Suns trailing Yao at the center position.

The 2009 NBA All-Star Balloting program, which also includes partner 2K
Sports, allows fans around the world to vote daily for their favorite
players as starters for the All-Star Game in a variety of ways,
including: at each NBA arena; in 20 languages on NBA.com; and through
mobile phones at t-zones® on T-Mobile phones or wap.nba.com for any
wireless carrier. A T-Mobile-branded All-Star Balloting widget is
available on NBA.com so that fans can "grab" the widget and place it on
their blogs, social network pages, or personal websites allowing others
to vote directly from the widget. Voting will continue through Jan. 11,
for paper balloting and Jan. 19, for NBA.com and wireless balloting.

NBA All-Star 2009 is a week-long celebration that enables fans to
experience the thrill of the world’s greatest athletes playing the game
they love and features a full slate of community-enhancing activities
including the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service and fan festivals such
as NBA All-Star Jam Session.

One hundred twenty players – 60 each from the Eastern and Western
conferences – are listed on the NBA All-Star ballot. Voters select two
guards, two forwards and one center from each conference. The 120
players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media experts who
regularly cover the NBA. This year’s panel included Paul Coro (Arizona
Republic), Ernie Johnson (TNT), Jack McCallum (Sports Illustrated),
David Moore (Dallas Morning News), Marc Spears (Boston Globe) and Marc
Stein (ESPN.com).

The final balloting update will be issued on Thursday, Jan. 8 and the
announcement of the All-Star starters will take place on Thursday Jan.
22, prior to a TNT doubleheader. Following the completion of fan voting
and the starting line-up announcement, the head coaches in each
conference will vote to determine the remaining All-Stars in their
respective conference, which will be announced Thursday, Jan. 29 prior
to a TNT doubleheader.

As the presenting partner of the 2009 NBA All-Star Balloting program,
and in support of the NBA’s season-long effort to better the various
communities in Phoenix, T-Mobile will donate $1 for every ballot cast on
t-zones, T-Mobile's wireless Web portal, to help the youth of Phoenix.
The week leading up to the 58th NBA All-Star Game will feature a full
slate of community-enhancing activities and fan festivals, such as NBA
All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas and the T-Mobile Rookie
Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 13.

In conjunction with All-Star Balloting, 2K Sports will give fans the
opportunity to experience Phoenix and the best of basketball by entering
the NBA 2K9 Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to NBA All-Star 2009
and to have their likeness as a digitized player incorporated in next
year’s game, NBA 2K10.

The leaders of both the Eastern and Western Conference players for the
third returns of the 2009 NBA All-Star voting program are attached:

2009 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING EASTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: LeBron James (Clev) 1,521,272; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 1,101,541;
Yi Jianlian (NJ) 959,324; Chris Bosh (Tor) 601,204; Paul Pierce (Bos)
387,105; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 236,360; Shawn Marion (Mia) 230,119; Danny
Granger (Ind) 155,484; Josh Smith (Atl) 131,281; Michael Beasley (Mia)
121,632; Tayshaun Prince (Det) 114,869.

Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,473,225; Allen Iverson (Det) 1,027,153;
Vince Carter (NJ) 708,699; Ray Allen (Bos) 435,945; Devin Harris (NJ)
359,442; Gilbert Arenas (Wash) 283,030; Luke Ridnour (Mil) 276,009;
Derrick Rose (Chi) 242,740; Jose Calderon (Tor) 221,946; Jameer Nelson
(Orl) 198,050; Joe Johnson (Atl) 189,343.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,709,088; Samuel Dalembert (Phi) 239,089;
Rasheed Wallace (Det) 197,785; Jermaine O’Neal (Tor) 177,121; Andrew
Bogut (Mil) 151,043; Al Horford (Atl) 140,637; Ben Wallace (Clev)
112,014; Emeka Okafor (Char) 100,114; Brendan Haywood (Wash) 89,664;
Zyrdrunas Ilgauskas (Cle) 78,035; Kendrick Perkins (Bos) 68,513.

2009 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING WESTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: Tim Duncan (SA) 1,132,095; Amar’e Stoudemire (Pho) 743,639;
Carmelo Anthony (Den) 725,411; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 673,720; Ron Artest
(Hou) 662,510; Pau Gasol (LAL) 495,835; Bruce Bowen (SA) 375,079; Shane
Battier (Hou) 374,413; Luis Scola (Hou) 228,598; Josh Howard (Dal)
228,157; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 170,056.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,534,020; Tracy McGrady (Hou) 961,852; Chris
Paul (NO) 867,889; Manu Ginobili (SA) 500,158; Tony Parker (SA) 459,718;
Steve Nash (Pho) 345,948; Jason Kidd (Dal) 331,203; Rafer Alston (Hou)
282,767; Jason Terry (Dal) 265,521; Brandon Roy (Por) 210,755; Chauncey
Billups (Den) 205,554.

Centers: Yao Ming (Hou) 1,396,126; Shaquille O’Neal (Pho) 727,975;
Andrew Bynum (LAL) 294,381; Mehmet Okur (Utah) 256,902; Greg Oden (Por)
162,299; Andris Biedrins (GS) 129,488; Tyson Chandler (NO) 112,949; Al
Jefferson (Minn) 100,480; Nick Collison (OKC) 69,039; Marcus Camby (LAC)
57,474; Chris Kaman (LAC) 21,814.

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