Pistons’ Ben Wallace Second in Votes Received as NBA All-Star Starters are Announced

Wallace to Make Second All-Star Start in as Many Seasons

Detroit's Ben Wallace
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY – January 29 – Vince Carter of the Toronto Raptors received the most votes (2,127,183) in the NBA All-Star Balloting program that determines starters for the 2004 NBA All-Star Game. Carter and NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving both have led the league in voting four times, trailing only Michael Jordan who set the all-time NBA mark by leading the league nine times.

Through the 2004 All-Star NBA Balloting program, NBA fans from around the globe were responsible for voting in the starters for the 53rd NBA All-Star Game which will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 15. A total of 5.3 million ballots were cast, representing over 40 million player votes, a 16 percent increase from last year’s totals.

The 2004 NBA All-Star Game will be telecast live on TNT at 8 p.m. (EST) and broadcast globally to 212 countries through 151 telecasters in 42 languages.

Carter is joined in the Eastern Conference starting lineup by Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal (1,629,054) at forward, Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson (1,731,648) and Orlando’s Tracy McGrady (1,231,825) at guard, and Detroit’s Ben Wallace (1,982,251) at center.

In the Western Conference, Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett led the conference with 1,780,918 votes. He is joined in the West’s starting lineup by San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (1,681,435) at forward, Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant (1,759,717) and Houston’s Steve Francis (976,841) at guard. In the closest race of this year’s voting, Houston’s Yao Ming (1,484,531) narrowly edged Los Angeles Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal (1,453,286) for the starting center position. While O’Neal received more electronic votes from fans around the world, Yao defeated O’Neal by outpacing him on paper ballots that were distributed in-arena, at movie theatres and at retail stores where balloting was available in the United States and Canada.

Garnett has been selected to his seventh NBA All-Star Game; Bryant and Duncan to their sixth; Carter and Iverson to their fifth; McGrady his fourth; Francis and O’Neal to their third; and Wallace and Yao will be making their second appearance.

The 29 head coaches will vote for the remaining members of the All-Star teams in their respective conferences, and their selections will be announced on Tuesday, February 3. Coaches must vote for seven players in order of preference but are not allowed to vote for players from their team. The selections must include two guards, two forwards and a center. Two other players are chosen regardless of position. Also, if any player cannot participate in the All-Star Game, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select a replacement after the coaches select reserves.

Rick Carlisle of the Indiana Pacers will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars and Flip Saunders of the Minnesota Timberwolves will be on the sidelines representing the Western Conference. Head coaches for the East and West all-star teams are based on the teams with the best winning percentage in each conference following the Sunday games played two weeks prior to the All-Star Game. Both Indiana and Minnesota clinched the best winning percentage prior to February 1.

For the second year in a row, NBA All-Stars will wear uniforms created just for the game. Last year, NBA All-Stars wore “Retro” uniforms from the 1988 All-Star Game, but this year the All-Stars will be outfitted in newly-designed uniforms from Reebok – created specifically for the 2004 NBA All-Star Game.

NBA.com will provide basketball fans with the opportunity to have their vote count towards selecting the MVP of the 53rd NBA All-Star Game, as a part of the site's exclusive NBA All-Star 2004 coverage.

Through the 2004 NBA All-Star Balloting program, which began on November 13, 2003 through January 18, 2004, fans had the opportunity to vote in more ways than ever. NBA All-Star Balloting expanded this season to include 17 languages on the NBA.com Network, downloadable ballots via Verizon Wireless and voting at Loews Cineplex Entertainment movie theaters along with Foot Locker, Circuit City and Champs Sports locations throughout the United States. Sprite, America Online, Champs Sports, Reebok and 989 Sports also returned as balloting partners this year. These outlets were in addition to ballots that were distributed in all 28 NBA arenas. The balloting partners provided links to the NBA.com All-Star Ballot from their homepages.

In addition to TNT’s coverage, Rogers Sportsnet will broadcast live from Staples Center as will ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. (EST). The NBA All-Star Game will also be available in several languages on NBA.com. NBA All-Star 2004 is a week-long celebration that enables fans to experience the thrill of the world’s greatest athletes playing the game they love and features a full slate of community enhancing activities and fan festivals. Attached are the leaders of both the Eastern and Western Conference players in the final returns of the 2004 NBA All-Star balloting program:

2004 NBA-ALL STAR GAME STARTING LINEUPS
Eastern Conference Western Conference
F- Vince Carter, Toronto F- Tim Duncan, San Antonio
F- Jermaine O’Neal, Indiana F- Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
C- Ben Wallace, Detroit C- Yao Ming, Houston
G- Allen Iverson, Philadelphia G- Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
G- Tracy McGrady, Orlando G- Steve Francis, Houston
Coach: Rick Carlisle, Indiana Coach: Flip Saunders, Minnesota
2004 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL RETURNS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL RETURNS
Forwards:
Vince Carter (Tor) 2,127,183
Jermaine O’Neal (Ind) 1,629,054
Kenyon Martin (NJ) 659,773
Ron Artest, (Ind) 405,326
Scottie Pippen (Chi) 358,035
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Atl) 273,018
Carlos Boozer (Cle) 226,822
Richard Jefferson (NJ) 226,253
Jamal Mashburn (NO) 221,519
Toni Kukoc (Mil) 193,555
Forwards:
Kevin Garnett (Min) 1,780,918
Tim Duncan (SA) 1,681,435
Carmelo Anthony (Den) 602,536
Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 572,362
Karl Malone (LAL) 520,882
Peja Stojakovic (Sac) 456,369
Chris Webber (Sac) 383,971
Pau Gasol (Mem) 329,218
Antoine Walker (Dal) 273,088
Malik Rose (SA) 194,661
Guards:
Allen Iverson (Phi) 1,731,648
Tracy McGrady (Orl) 1,231,825
Jason Kidd (NJ) 1,126,838
LeBron James (Cle) 768,532
Baron Davis (NO) 644,518
Stephon Marbury (NY) 384,316
Paul Pierce (Bos) 332,353
Reggie Miller (Ind) 222,891
Chauncey Billups (Det) 214,195
Richard Hamilton (Det) 184,309
Guards:
Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,759,717
Steve Francis (Hou) 976,841
Gary Payton (LAL) 686,788
Steve Nash (Dal) 582,243
Emanuel Ginobili (SA) 538,522
Mike Bibby (Sac) 483,861
Tony Parker (SA) 346,735
Ray Allen (Sea) 303,337
Michael Finley (Dal) 253,848
Cuttino Mobley (Hou) 219,382
Centers:
Ben Wallace (Det) 1,982,251
Alonzo Mourning (NJ) 414,356
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Cle) 356,861
Jamaal Magloire (NO) 236,448
Eddy Curry (Chi) 169,977
Centers:
Yao Ming (Hou) 1,484,531
Shaquille O’Neal (LAL) 1,453,286
Brad Miller (Sac) 258,693
Vlade Divac (Sac) 203,768
Radoslav Nesterovic (SA) 202,527
2004 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING TOP 10 OVERALL LEADING VOTE-GETTERS
PLAYER ON-LINE PAPER TOTAL
Vince Carter (Tor) 1,857,320 269,863 2,127,183
Ben Wallace (Det) 1,718,133 264,118 1,982,251
Kevin Garnett (Min) 1,526,467 254,451 1,780,918
Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,541,100 218,617 1,759,717
Allen Iverson (Phi) 1,516,724 214,924 1,731,648
Tim Duncan (SA) 1,350,066 331,369 1,681,435
Jermaine O’Neal (Ind) 1,401,331 227,723 1,629,054
Yao Ming (Hou) 1,241,347 243,184 1,484,531
Shaquille O'Neal (LAL) 1,245,728 207,558 1,453,286
Tracy McGrady (Orl) 1,096,578 135,247 1,231,825