O'Neal Third at Forward in All-Star Balloting

by Conrad Brunner

December 19, 2002

New York, December 19, 2002 - Kobe Bryant, from the three-time defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers and Tim Duncan of San Antonio lead all players in the Western Conference, and Toronto’s Vince Carter and Orlando’s Tracy McGrady lead all players in the Eastern Conference in votes received after the first returns in the 2003 NBA All-Star Balloting program.

The Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal ranks third among Eastern Conference forwards, behind Carter and Grant Hill of Orlando. Brad Miller is fifth among centers and Reggie Miller ninth among guards.

The fans, through the 2003 NBA All-Star Balloting program, will determine starters for the 2003 NBA All-Star Game, to be played at Philips Arena in Atlanta on Sunday, February 9. The game will be broadcast live on TNT, Rogers Sportsnet, ESPN radio and audio in several languages on NBA.com (http://www.nba.com) at 8 p.m. ET. Bryant leads all players with 659,998 votes. Following Bryant at the guard position in the Western Conference is Houston’s Steve Francis (415,773). Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal leads all West centers with 480,894 votes, followed by Houston’s Yao Ming (471,107). San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (492,245) and Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett (474,074) lead all West forwards.

Carter leads all Eastern Conference players with 597,684 votes. He is followed at the forward position by Orlando’s Grant Hill (416,553). Detroit’s Ben Wallace leads all Eastern Conference centers with 411,325, followed by New Jersey’s Dikembe Mutombo (288,325), while Orlando’s Tracy McGrady leads all East guards with 573,638 votes, followed by Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson (501,628).

NBA All-Star Balloting began on November 14 providing fans with the opportunity to vote in more ways than ever with Best Buy and 989 Sports joining existing balloting partners Sprite, America Online, Reebok and Champs Sports. In addition to being distributed in all 29 NBA arenas, fans can vote at more than 1,000 retail locations including Champ Sports and Best Buy Stores and online at NBA.com and America Online (AOL Keyword: NBA.com). NBA All-Star Ballots are also available for the first time in three languages – English, Mandarin and Spanish – on NBA.com as part of NBA.com/espanol and NBA.com /china sites. In addition, to AOL’s online ballot, the balloting partners provide links to the NBA.com All-Star Ballot from their homepages.

Balloting for this year’s All-Star Game will continue through January 12, and updated results for the Eastern and Western Conferences will be issued regularly concluding with the announcement of the All-Star starters on Thursday, January 23. After the fan voting is completed and the starters are announced, the head coaches in each conference will vote to determine the remaining All-Stars in their respective conferences.

2003 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING
EASTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: Vince Carter (Tor) 597,684; Grant Hill (Orl) 416,553; Jermaine O’Neal (Ind) 343,762; Antoine Walker (Bos) 199,158; Kenyon Martin (NJ) 159,125; Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Atl) 119,016; Latrell Sprewell (NY) 111,741; Darius Miles (Cle) 110,873; Keith Van Horn (Phi) 98,629; Glenn Robinson (Atl) 82,563.

Guards: Tracy McGrady (Orl) 573,638; Allen Iverson (Phi) 501,628; Michael Jordan (Was) 432,449; Jason Kidd (NJ) 393,337; Paul Pierce (Bos) 122,426; Ray Allen (Mil) 101,475; Jerry Stackhouse (Was) 75,249; Baron Davis (NO) 67,268; Reggie Miller (Ind) 66,927; Ricky Davis (Cle) 58,507.

Centers: Ben Wallace (Det) 411,325; Dikembe Mutombo (NJ) 288,325; Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Cle) 140,176; Antonio Davis (Tor) 100,464; Brad Miller (Ind) 91,230; Theo Ratliff (Atl) 60,842; Brian Grant (Mia) 60,260; Todd MacCulloch (Phi) 52,382; Tony Battie (Bos) 49,945; Kurt Thomas (NY) 36,251.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: Tim Duncan (SA) 492,245; Kevin Garnett (Min) 474,074; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 450,467; Chris Webber (Sac) 355,360; Elton Brand (LAC) 109,802; Peja Stojakovic (Sac) 101,615; Pau Gasol (Mem) 91,594; Robert Horry (LAL) 75,863; Scottie Pippen (Por) 71,351; Rasheed Wallace (Por) 71,226.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 659,998; Steve Francis (Hou) 415,773; Steve Nash (Dal) 296,114; Gary Payton (Sea) 237,618; Mike Bibby (Sac) 216,547; Michael Finley (Dal) 166,942; Andre Miller (LAC) 84,850; Tony Parker (San) 71,239; John Stockton (Uta) 70,344; Cuttino Mobley (Hou) 68,016.

Centers: Shaquille O’Neal (LAL) 480,894; Yao Ming (Hou) 471,107; Vlade Divac (Sac) 132,018; David Robinson (SA) 109,065; Michael Olowokandi (LAC) 76,272; Raef LaFrentz (Dal) 69,913; Arvydas Sabonis (Por) 30,081; Marcus Camby (Den) 29,816; Erick Dampier (GS) 20,172; Radoslav Nesterovic (Min) 13,601.