Steve Nash Named as All-Star Starter
Suns guard Steve Nash was named an NBA All-Star starter today for the first time in his 10-year career as the reigning NBA MVP finished second among all Western Conference guards with 1,818,230 votes, trailing only the NBA’s leading scorer Kobe Bryant.
Nash, who is the first NBA player to average at least 19 points (career-high 19.1) and 11 assists (league-leading 11.3) in a single season since Magic Johnson (1990-91), will be making his fourth All-Star appearance (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and second in a row with the Suns. Nash becomes only the ninth player in franchise history, and the first Suns player since Jason Kidd in 2001, to be named a starter in an All-Star Game.
The 6-3, 195-pound playmaker has been named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week twice this season (Jan. 2-8, 2006 and November 21-27, 2005), and has the Suns perched atop the Pacific Division with a 30-16 record (.652) despite playing without 2005 All-Star forward/xcenter Amaré Stoudemire. Nash, who will turn 32 on Feb. 7, has also posted career highs in rebounds (4.4), free-throw percentage (.927) and minutes played (37.2) in 2005-06.
The 55th All-Star Game will be played in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 19 and will be broadcast live on TNT at 6 p.m. Phoenix time.
Nash is joined in the Western Conference starting lineup by Houston’s Tracy McGrady (1,818,932), San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (1,518,796) at forward and Houston’s Yao Ming (2,342,738) at center and Bryant (2,271,631) at guard.
The Eastern Conference starting lineup includes Cleveland’s LeBron James (2,207,697) and Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal (1,291,836) at forward, Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal (2,192,542) at center and Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson (2,062,206) and Miami’s Dwyane Wade (1,499,664) in the backcourt.
The 30 head coaches will vote for the remaining members of the All-Star teams in their in their respective conferences, which will be announced Thursday, Feb. 9, on TNT. Dallas’ Avery Johnson and Detroit’s Flip Saunders and their respective coaching staffs have earned the honor of coaching their respective conferences.