Shaquille O'’Neal and Dwyane Wade named Eastern Conference All-star Starters

MIAMI, February 3 – The Miami HEAT announced that Shaquille O’'Neal and Dwyane Wade were named Eastern Conference starters in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game. O’Neal and Wade join Pacers forward Jermaine O’Neal, Cavaliers forward LeBron James and 76ers guard Allen Iverson as Eastern Conference starters. The 55th NBA All-Star Game will be played in Houston on Sunday, February 19. The game will be broadcast live on TNT at 8:00 p.m. ET.

O’'Neal, who is making his second All-Star appearance as a member of the HEAT, joins NBA greats Jerry West (14; 1961-1974), Karl Malone (14; 1988-2002), Bob Cousy (13; 1951-63) and John Havlicek (13; 1966-78) as the only players to be selected to the mid-season classic 13 years in a row. O'’Neal received the second most votes in the East (2,192,542), trailing only Cleveland'’s LeBron James. O’'Neal is averaging 19.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.52 blocks per game for the HEAT this season. His .568 field-goal percentage ranks best in the league. O’'Neal is the tenth player in NBA history to make the All-Star team with three different teams.

Wade is making his second All-Star appearance and first as a starter. The third-year pro finished second among Eastern Conference guards in All-Star balloting with 1,499,664 votes, edging out New Jersey Nets guard Vince Carter, who received 1,294,373 votes. Wade is averaging 26.8 points, 6.9 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.98 steals per game for the HEAT and leads the team in scoring, assists and steals. He ranks in the NBA top 10 in points (fifth), steals (fourth), assists (t-ninth) and triple-doubles (third). Wade is one of two players in the NBA, along with Iverson, to rank in the top 10 in scoring, assists and steals.

2006 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING EASTERN CONFERENCE

Centers: Shaquille O'Neal (Mia) 2,192,542; Ben Wallace (Det) 1,234,687; Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Clev) 244,322; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 209,705; Michael Olowokandi (Bos) 147,110; Nenad Krstic (NJ) 144,871; Jeff Foster (Ind) 143,911; Samuel Dalembert (Phi) 115,793; Jamaal Magloire (Mil) 112,597*; Eddy Curry (NY) 105,974; Raef LaFrentz (Bos) 88,065.

Guards: Allen Iverson (Phi) 2,062,206; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,499,664; Vince Carter (NJ) 1,294,373; Chauncey Billups (Det) 717,006; Jason Kidd (NJ) 594,352; Richard Hamilton (Det) 474,895; Gilbert Arenas (Wash) 453,971; Steve Francis (Orl) 438,892; T.J. Ford (Mil) 210,570; Gary Payton (Mia) 191,424.

Forwards: LeBron James (Clev) 2,207,697; Jermaine O’Neal (Ind) 1,291,836; Rasheed Wallace (Det) 866,932; Chris Webber (Phi) 584,579; Grant Hill (Orl) 482,336; Tayshaun Prince (Det) 481,652; Paul Pierce (Bos) 441,218; Chris Bosh (Tor) 352,033; Richard Jefferson (NJ) 307,771; Dwight Howard (Orl) 299,876.

* The final vote tallies for Milwaukee’s Jamaal Magloire are counted towards the respective conferences.

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