LAKERS FORWARD PAU GASOL NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR

Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was selected to represent the Western Conference in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game to be played February 15 at US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, it was announced today.

“It’s an honor to be selected to the All-Star team, and I’d like to thank all the coaches who voted for me,” said Gasol. “This is also a reflection on my teammates, who helped me play to an All-Star level and receive this recognition. I look forward to playing in the game, and I will represent the Lakers with pride.”

Gasol, who will join teammate Kobe Bryant and head coach Phil Jackson in Phoenix, is averaging 17.3 points on 54.9 percent shooting, 9.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists while ranking 34th league-wide in scoring, 12th in rebounds, 9th in field goal percentage and 19th in double-doubles (15) on the season.

Becoming the fourth player in league history to go straight from Europe to the NBA and score 10,000 career points earlier this season, Gasol will be making his second career All-Star appearance (2006) and is now the 27th Laker in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team.

In selecting the reserves, each of the 30 NBA head coaches must vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, two forwards, a center and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their team. If a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select a replacement.