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Zach Randolph named to Western Conference All-Star team

MEMPHIS, January 28, 2010 – The NBA announced tonight that Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been named to the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve, marking his first NBA All-Star selection. The 2010 All-Star Game will take place Sunday, Feb. 14 in Dallas.

“I’m really happy right now because I put a lot of work in this summer and it paid off,” Randolph said. “I want to thank the fans, the organization, my coaches and especially my teammates. I also want to thank the city of Memphis for supporting me.”

The only player in the Western Conference averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, Randolph leads the Grizzlies with 21.0 points (12th in the NBA) and a career-high 11.6 boards (4th). His scoring average is the highest by a Grizzlies player since Shareef Abdur-Rahim posted a franchise-record 23.0 points in 1998-99 while his rebounding average is on pace to shatter the club record, also held by Abdur-Rahim (10.1 in 1999-00). The 6-9, 260-pound forward has already set 11 franchise records this season.

Memphis’ key acquisition this offseason, Randolph has guided the Grizzlies to a 25-19 record, exceeding their win total from the previous season (24-58 in 2008-09). After a 1-8 start, the team has gone 24-11 (.686), which trails only the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers as the NBA’s best record since Nov. 12.

“This is a great day for Zach, our coaches and his teammates and all Grizzlies fans,” Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace said. “Zach has been the catalyst in our turnaround this season. He is as good a low-post scorer as there is, leads the league in offensive rebounds, is the finest tip-in artist around and has made countless big plays down the stretch in our close victories. And he does it all with a smile on his face. To top it all off, he is as good a teammate as he is a player.”

The nine-year NBA veteran also leads the league in offensive rebounding (4.6 per game) and is tied for third among all NBA players with 29 double-doubles. Randolph, who joins Pau Gasol (2006) as the only All-Stars in franchise history, is one of seven first-time All-Stars this season.

The 28-year-old also anchors the Grizzlies’ rebounding effort, which ranks fourth in the league (43.6) after finishing last one season ago. Randolph has helped the team place first in rebound margin (+4.6), points in the paint (52.0) and second chance points (16.8) while ranking second in offensive rebounding (13.4).

The Western Conference All-Star team consists of starters Carmelo Anthony (Denver), Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Steve Nash (Phoenix) and Amar’e Stoudemire (Phoenix) and reserves Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City), Pau Gasol (LA Lakers), Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas), Chris Paul (New Orleans), Zach Randolph (Memphis), Brandon Roy (Portland) and Deron Williams (Utah).

The Eastern Conference All-Star team consists of starters Kevin Garnett (Boston), Dwight Howard (Orlando), Allen Iverson (Philadelphia), LeBron James (Cleveland) and Dwyane Wade (Miami) and reserves Chris Bosh (Toronto), Al Horford (Atlanta), Joe Johnson (Atlanta), Paul Pierce (Boston), Rajon Rondo (Boston), Derrick Rose (Chicago) and Gerald Wallace (Charlotte).

The 14 players selected – seven each from the Eastern and Western Conferences – were chosen by the 30 NBA head coaches, who were asked to vote for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, two forwards, one center and two players regardless of position. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

Should any player be unable to participate in the All-Star Game due to injury, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select the replacement.

The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Jan. 31. Last year’s East and West coaches – Cleveland’s Mike Brown and the LA Lakers’ Phil Jackson – are not eligible to coach this year’s All-Star Game.

Read our Q-and-A with Zach following the announcement.