February 8, 2005
NEW YORK - A pair of Sonics, guard Ray Allen
and forward Rashard Lewis
, headline the list of reserves for the 2005 NBA All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, February 20 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado (5:00 p.m., TNT)
Allen was selected for his second straight All-Star Game and the fifth of his career. He has averaged 15.0 points, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals during four previous All-Star appearances, including 16 points in 23 minutes in last year's game, played in Los Angeles. Allen is averaging 24.0 points per game (ninth in the NBA), 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Lewis becomes the 20th player in Sonics history selected for the All-Star Game, and just the eighth member of that group originally drafted by the Sonics. He earned his first All-Star berth on the strength of his career-high 20.5 points per game, as well as 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Lewis is shooting 46.7% from the field and 40.2% from three-point range, making him one of the league's most efficient high scorers.
Lewis is one of three second-round picks who will play in the 2005 All-Star Game.
The selection of Allen and Lewis marks the first time since 1998 (Gary Payton, Vin Baker) that the Sonics have had a pair of players selected for the All-Star Game. They have had at least one player selected for the last 12 All-Star Games (a 13-season span; there was no All-Star Game played in 1999). That is now the longest active streak in the NBA. (Sacramento was at 11 straight, but has not yet had a player named to the team this year.)
The Sonics All-Star contingent is now at four. Allen and Vladimir Radmanovic will participate in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout on All-Star Saturday Night presented by America Online (5:30 p.m., TNT). Luke Ridnour is on the Sophomore team for the got milk? Rookie Challenge on Friday (6:00 p.m., TNT).
Joining Lewis in making their initial All-Star appearance for the Western Conference are guard Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs and center Amaré Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns. Also named to the Western Conference All-Star team are forward Shawn Marion and guard Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns and forward Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.
Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas and forward Antawn Jamison and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade will all make their first career All-Star appearance for the Eastern Conference. Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas of the Cleveland Cavaliers, forwards Jermaine O’Neal of the Indiana Pacers, Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics and Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons round out the Eastern reserves.
Lewis was one of six first-time All-Stars picked as reserves.
The 14 players selected - seven each from the Eastern and Western Conferences - were chosen by a vote of the 30 NBA head coaches, who were asked to vote for seven players in their respective conferences - two guards, two forwards, one center and two players regardless of position. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.
Previously selected as starters for the East through the NBA All-Star 2005 Balloting Program were Cleveland’s LeBron James, who is also making his first NBA All-Star Game appearance, Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal, New Jersey’s Vince Carter, Orlando’s Grant Hill and Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson. Houston’s Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan will start for the West.
The selections of Ilgauskas (Lithuania), Ginobili (Argentina), Nash (Canada), Nowitzki (Germany) along with voted-starters Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Yao (China), gives the 2005 All-Star Game six international players, tying the 2003 and 2004 All-Star Game record for the most international All-Stars in one year.
Should any player be unable to participate in the All-Star Game due to injury, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select the replacement.
Stan Van Gundy of the Miami Heat will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars and Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will represent the Western Conference.
The NBA All-Star Game will be televised live nationally on TNT in the United States and on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada at 6 p.m. MT/ 8 p.m. ET, while being televised globally to 214 countries around the world. Live audio broadcasts are available on ESPN Radio and on NBA.com in multiple languages.
For the third consecutive year, NBA All-Stars will wear uniforms created just for the game. This year’s All-Stars will be outfitted in new uniforms from Reebok which were inspired by the Denver Nuggets uniform design. The West will wear white jerseys and the East will wear blue while the shorts will feature a star encapsulated NBA logo on each side, a conference logo on the waistband and a “05DN” wordmark on the center back which represents 2005 Denver.
NBA.com will provide basketball fans with the opportunity to have their vote count towards selecting the MVP of the 54th NBA All-Star Game, as a part of the site's exclusive NBA All-Star 2005 coverage.
Through the 2005 NBA All-Star Balloting program, which ran from November 18, 2004 through January 23, 2005, fans had the opportunity to vote in more ways than ever. The balloting program expanded to include 19 languages on the NBA.com Network, downloadable ballots via Verizon Wireless and approximately 150 Loews Cineplex Entertainment movie theaters in the United States. This year, Twentieth Century Fox joined Sprite, America Online, Reebok and approximately 2,100 Foot Locker and Champs Sports stores in the United States and Canada as All-Star balloting partners. Ballots were also distributed in all 29 NBA arenas and all six NBDL arenas.
NBA All-Star 2005 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.