NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2013 - Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers continues leading the field with 1,177,456 votes, following the third returns of the 2013 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint. The Miami Heat's LeBron James, with 1,151,304 votes, is a close second. The Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (1,088,797) and the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (1,054,099) are second in West and East, respectively.
Balloting will conclude on Jan. 14, and starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 17, during a special one-hour pregame show at 7 p.m. ET featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith. The special will air prior to TNT's exclusive doubleheader featuring the Los Angeles Clippers at the Minnesota Timberwolves (8 p.m. ET) and the Miami Heat at the Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET).
James, Anthony and the Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett (390,751) are the leading vote-getters among the Eastern Conference's frontcourt players. The Heat's Dwyane Wade is pacing Eastern Conference backcourt players with 765,077 votes, followed by the Celtics' Rajon Rondo (675,822).
Bryant's intra-city rival, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, is the second-leading vote-getter among Western Conference backcourt players with 651,893 votes. Joining Durant in the frontcourt following the third returns are the Lakers' Dwight Howard (716,671) and the Clippers' Blake Griffin (593,024).
The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston, Tex. on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 (8 p.m. ET), televised exclusively on TNT and broadcast exclusively on ESPN Radio in the U.S. The All-Star Game will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
Twitter voting allows fans to tweet a vote for one player each day throughout the All-Star balloting period. The tweet must include a player's first and last name, along with hash tag #NBABALLOT. Facebook voting will allow fans to fill out one full ballot (three frontcourt and two guards from each conference) per day, through a custom application on Facebook.
There are several other ways fans can cast their votes as part of this season's all-digital program including: in 11 languages on NBA.com/ASB, through SMS voting by texting the player's last name to 6-9-6-2-2 ("MYNBA") or by visiting NBA.com/ASB on any wireless device. Fans can vote for 10 different players per day, per phone number, via SMS voting by sending 10 separate SMS messages, each one with a different player's last name. Message and data rates may apply.
After submitting their All-Star selections, fans have the ability to share them with their friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter, and encourage others to cast their ballots.
The NBA All-Star ballot lists 120 players - 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences - with 36 frontcourt and 24 guards from each conference comprising the list. Voters select three frontcourt and two guards from each conference.
The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA:
Steve Aschburner (NBA.com), Jonathan Feigen (Houston Chronicle), Doug Smith (Toronto Star/PBWA), and Kenny Smith (TNT).
NBA All-Star 2013 in Houston will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league's history for a global celebration of the game. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for an 11th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 29th year of All-Star coverage. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature the Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2013 will include the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session. The 2013 game will mark the third NBA All-Star celebration in Houston. The city also hosted the event in 1989 and in 2006.
The leaders of both the Eastern and Western Conference players for the third returns of 2013 NBA All-Star Balloting are below: