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Washington?s Arenas Edges New Jersey?s Carter

in Fourth-Closest Race in NBA All-Star HistoryNEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2007 ? Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming led all players in votes received in the NBA All-Star Balloting program presented by T-Mobile that determines starters for the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. James, who earned Most Valuable Player honors in last year?s midseason classic in Houston, received 2,516,049 votes, the second-highest total in history behind Yao?s 2005 total of 2,558,278. Yao received 2,451,718 votes this year, the fourth-highest total ever.

The closest voting race in this year?s balloting was among Eastern Conference guards. Miami?s Dwyane Wade secured one starting spot with 2,029,591 votes and Washington?s Gilbert Arenas (1,454,166) edged New Jersey?s Vince Carter (1,451,156) by 3,010 votes in the fourth-closest race in NBA All-Star history trailing A.C. Green/Karl Malone (1,226 votes) in 1990, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Ralph Sampson (1,817 votes) in 1984 and John Stockton/Derek Harper (2,562 votes) in 1990.

Miami center Shaquille O?Neal (1,622,446) was selected to his 14th straight All-Star team, tying Lakers legend Jerry West (14; 1961-1974) and Utah great Karl Malone (14; 1988-2002) for the most consecutive selections. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for most All-Star Game selections with 19.

Through the 2007 NBA All-Star Balloting program, fans worldwide were responsible for voting in the starters for the 56th NBA All-Star Game, which will be played in Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET. There were 69.1 million votes cast this year, a 17 percent increase from 2006. The game will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and territories. Head coaches in each conference will vote to determine the remaining All-Stars in their respective conference, which will be announced Thursday, Feb. 1, on TNT.

Joining Yao as part of the Western Conference starting lineup is his Rockets? teammate Tracy McGrady (1,942,796), who will be appearing in his seventh All-Star Game. San Antonio?s Tim Duncan (1,436,584), who has been selected to every All-Star team since he entered the league in 1997, and Minnesota?s Kevin Garnett (1,616,575), who captured All-Star MVP honors in 2003, will be the starting forwards. L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (2,138,777), who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, makes his ninth All-Star trip.

James will be joined in the Eastern Conference frontcourt by O?Neal and Toronto?s Chris Bosh (1,091,263), who will be making his first career All-Star start. Arenas also will make his first career All-Star start while Wade makes his second consecutive start and third straight appearance.

In selecting the reserves, the head coaches must vote for seven players, including two guards, two forwards, a center and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their team. After the coaches select the reserves, if a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select a replacement.

Phoenix head coach Mike D?Antoni and the Suns coaching staff earned the honor to coach the West as a result of their 112-107 win over New York last night combined with San Antonio?s 90-85 loss to Houston. The Suns (34-8, .800) have clinched the best winning percentage through games of Feb. 4 among eligible Western Conference teams for the All-Star coaching honors. The Eastern Conference Coach is yet to be determined. Last year?s All-Star coaches ? Dallas? Avery Johnson and Detroit?s Flip Saunders ? are not eligible this year.

Through the Balloting program, which ran from Nov. 13, 2006 through Jan. 21, fans had the opportunity to vote at all NBA arenas, in 20 languages on NBA.com, on AOL.com/nba, at 1,250 T-Mobile-owned retail locations and at t-zones using T-Mobile service or wap.nba.com for any wireless carrier. Fans also were able to vote at several locations in Las Vegas, the host city of NBA All-Star 2007, including the Las Vegas Convention Center, Fremont Street and the Thomas & Mack Center. For the first time, 13 NBA team arenas also carried a Spanish-language version of the ballot. T-Mobile is the presenting partner of 2007 NBA All-Star Balloting program. This year?s other All-Star Balloting partners include 2K Sports, AOL.com, XBOX, GameStop & EB Games.

NBA All-Star 2007 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 and fan festivals such as NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas.

The leaders of both the Eastern and Western Conference players for the final returns of the 2007 NBA All-Star voting program are attached:

No Steve Nash or Dirk starting? After the NHL near-fiasco, I think this proves that all-star voting needs to go

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I have always agreed that all-star voting is wrong. In all sports. If it is such an honor to start (and a hall-of-fame credential), than a better way than fans voting for their home players should be found.

I love KG, but he should not be a starter. Plain and simple. Dirk should and so, obviously should Nash.

And Shaq? Are you kidding me?

Give the fans some credit for recognizing Arenas, but overall, they usually screw it up.

My favorite was the time Mike Schmidt was voted in after retiring.

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Yao and Tracy always get in because of the Chinese NBA fanbase...it really that simple. While Yao, when he wasn't injured, absolutely deserves that spot, Tracy should not be there over Nash and Iverson.

But Shaq over Dwight Howard? Dwight, a player that could and is quickly becoming one of the best big men of the decade? Now that's where the fan vote is just stupid.

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NBA All Stars: It's who the fans want to see not who deserves to be there.

Exactly. It's almost the same with the MLB, which is why you see people like Yao Ming get injured early in the season and still get elected, or Ken Griffey Jr. getting elected when he was on the DL for the whole year. It's basically just a case of name recognition and when that happens, it basically turns into a glorified popularity contest.

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Honestly, I am definitely a homer, but not one Suns player in the starting lineup is laughable. The Suns have destroyed the Yao and McGrady combo this year, yet they are the starters.

But because I am a homer and around here my argument about the Suns wouldn't carry any weight, I will just use the Shaq thing. When I saw his name on there I honestly had to take a double take. He has played like 5 games all year. What NBA fan votes for him this year?

Screw fan voting.

(I just found out that Yao is hurt...Great pick China)

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I voted for Arenas, Wade, Bosh, Lebron and Dwight Howard in the East

and in the West A.I., Kobe, Duncan, Dirk, and Yao

T-mac should not be starting over A.I. or Nash and Shaq should not be in the all star game. For fan voting, the NBA should say u should play at least a ceratin number of games to be a starter or ur automatically DQ'ed from voting. Vince Carter took heat for it when he was voted a starter in 2003 (though he did give the spot to Jordan the day of the game). Its just not fare. I voted for Yao cause he was dominate till he got injured because to me he played enough game to be consider a starter and he was dominate till he got injuried

Speaking of VC, i'm happy Arenas got the spot over him the final 2 weeks of voting.

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I know fan voting is outrageous and laughable every year, but I could care less. I'd rather see Fat Shaq than Tim Duncan anyday.

Last I checked... Shaq plays for Miami, who plays in the East... Duncan plays for the Spurs and they play in the west. Also, Duncan is a forward on the ballot, so the comment you made makes no sense at all.

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These are the players the fans want to see starting. That's all David Stern needs to hear.

The internet, such as this forum, has made fan voting a mockery of the process. I assume that many of you are like me, and remember when we used to ask our parents for a pen or their keys so we could make our choices for the MLB All Star game. We did not care who had the best average, or on base peretnage, we just liked those for whatever reason (saw them on local or cable TV, saw them on "The Baseball Bunch", or might have been your favorite player on the team with a uniform you liked). For an average NBA watcher, highlights per game on ESPN or ESPNews is "dunk, dunk, 3-pointer". Therefore who do people do we REALLY see?

Some of these players who were voted in, move product, and if they are selected. Fine. If more people like brand X, then brand X should be given some credit, even if it does not perform up to standard or beyond that. Professional sport is a product and must be put to market as such. Look at the new DisneyWorld magazine spread which includes the now-spare David Beckham. It is all about product, but then again,David Stern would never bring back Oscar Schmidt.

If they cannot play, sure they receive their bonus, but forget it. If you don't vote Shaq, your wo centers will probably be Howard and Eddie Curry. Curry might not make the game also. Isn't he currently injured?

The bigger choice is now on the back of the coaches. I think that Josh Howard (DAL) might be left off the team, while he is with the best team in the NBA and having his beast season easily. Thus, the Mavs might only have one rep. Does the DiAntoni take more Suns than Mavericks, if he chooses Amare and Marion? Personally, I would not blame him, but it will be seen as favortisism. It might not help him that Iverson got traded to the West, so even with the brawl, DEN should get two. Add Elton Brand, probably Ray Allen, and heck the West roster will leave out many a legit player since i have not gotten to the Spurs.

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