By Official Release
Posted Dec 11 2008 3:58PM
Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers lead the Eastern Conference, while Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets top the Western Conference after the first returns of 2009 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile. Howard, the reigning Sprite Slam Dunk champion, is the overall leader with 775,933 votes.
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The 58th NBA All-Star Game will be played in Phoenix on Sunday, Feb. 15. The game will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Phoenix also hosted the All-Star Game in 1975 and 1995.
James, the 2008 NBA All-Star Game MVP, paces all Eastern Conference forwards with 643,786 votes, followed by Boston's Kevin Garnett (495,514), the leading vote-recipient in 2008. Miami's Dwyane Wade, the NBA's leading scorer, leads all Eastern Conference guards with 623,311 votes, followed by Detroit's Allen Iverson (492,093). Philadelphia's Samuel Dalembert (116,708) is running second to Howard at the center position.
Bryant leads all Western Conference players with 719,252 votes, followed by Yao (529,290). The New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul, who made his All-Star Game debut in 2008, follows Bryant at the guard position with 406,220 votes. San Antonio's Tim Duncan (442,203) and Phoenix's Amar'e Stoudemire (370,470) pace all Western Conference forwards, with Shaquille O'Neal (227,273) 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.
The Magic's Dwight Howard has risen to the top of the first All-Star ballot returns with 775,933 votes.
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
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).
Updated results for the Eastern and Western Conferences will be issued regularly leading up to the announcement of the All-Star starters 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.
|2009 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING|
|Leaders of the first return of NBA All-Star balloting for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.|
|2009 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING|
|Leaders of the Western Conference in the first returns of NBA All-Star balloting for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.|
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