Jan. 21, 2005 -- With two fewer meetings on the schedule this season due to Shaquille O'Neal's move to the East, fans will likely have one additional game in which to see Shaq and Yao Ming go head-to-head: the 2005 All-Star Game. The tightest race in All-Star voting last year (for the West's starting center position) is nearly as tight a race for the top overall vote-getter this year. Yao holds a slight edge over Shaq after the fourth balloting update on Jan. 20 (2,153,039 to 2,099,201). Last year, Yao controlled the opening tip for the West after edging Shaq by a mere 31,245 votes.

In another tight balloting race, LeBron James and Allen Iverson are taking their race for the top guard in the East to the wire. As it stands now, the King holds a 9,545-vote advantage over the Answer. Neither looks in danger of losing the starting nod, however, as Dwyane Wade is nearly 350,000 votes behind in third place.

Below is a look at the league leaders in All-Star voting since 1984, which, not so coincidentally, was the last time the All-Star Game was held in Denver:


Yao & Shaq: While both are nearly a lock to start at center for their respective conferences this year, only one can reign in the most votes overall. Who will stand above the rest? You only have until Sunday night to cast your vote.
(Jamie Squire/NBAE/Getty Images/NBAE)


Moses Malone: The 12-time NBA All-Star led all vote-getters in 1984 with 927,779 votes, after leading the Sixers to the 1983 NBA Championship and capturing the NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP awards.
(Jim Cummins/Getty Images/NBAE)


Magic Johnson: Magic led the way in 1985 and 1986, becoming the first player to receive more than one million fan votes (1,060,892 in 1986). Magic was joined by Lakers teammates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy in the starting lineup of the 1986 annual classic.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)


Michael Jordan: Jordan has topped the league in voting an NBA-record nine times, followed by Vince Carter and Julius Erving (four times each). After winning a fourth NBA Championship and finishing with the best record in NBA history (72-10), Jordan collected the most fan votes ever (2,451,136), a mark yet to be surpassed.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)


Charles Barkley: The 1991 All-Star MVP took the Suns to the Finals in 1993 and was named MVP that year. The next season, he rode the wave of popularity straight to the top of All-Star balloting for his eighth consecutive All-Star Game appearance, but was unable to play because of a torn quadriceps tendon in his right leg.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)


Grant Hill: Hill started the 1995 All-Star Game after becoming the first rookie ever to lead all players in fan voting (1,289,585). He repeated as top vote-getter in 1996. With a slight edge over Jermaine O'Neal (106,148 votes separate the two) for the second starting forward spot in the East, Hill is looking to earn his seventh All-Star Game selection.
(Jonathan Daniel/NBAE/Getty Images)


Vince Carter: Voted a five-time starter -- he was unable to play in 2002 due to injury -- Carter led the league in voting the first of four times in 2000. He stepped aside in 2003 to give Michael Jordan one final All-Star Game start.
(Andy Hoyt/NBAE/Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant: After four All-Star Game appearances and three NBA Championships, Kobe Bryant received the most votes in fan balloting for the 2003 All-Star Game in Atlanta. Bryant is the all-time leader in All-Star Game scoring average at 20.8 points through six contests.
(Jamie Squire/NBAE/Getty Images/NBAE)