Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol selected to 2011 All-Star team
February 3, 2011
NEW YORK -- Rookie Blake Griffin and Pau Gasol of the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers were named All-Stars, as the NBA today announced the list of 14 players that have been selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2011 All-Star Game. Gasol and Griffin join the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, who was voted to start, as representatives of the host city's NBA franchises during the 60th NBA All-Star Game, which will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.
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The Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett earned his record-tying 14th straight All-Star selection, joining Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal as the players with the most consecutive nods in NBA All-Star history.
Joining Gasol and Griffin as reserves on the West squad are the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, who joins Griffin as the only first-timers in this year's game, the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and the Utah Jazz's Deron Williams. Griffin also was selected to play in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, which will be held at Staples Center on Friday, Feb. 18. He becomes the first rookie to play in an NBA All-Star Game since the Houston Rockets' Yao Ming was selected to start in 2003. Duncan and Bryant, this year's leading vote-getter in this year's NBA All-Star Balloting program presented by T-Mobile, have been selected to 13 straight All-Star games.
In the Eastern Conference, Garnett is joined by three Celtics teammates -- Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Rounding out the East squad are the Atlanta Hawks' Al Horford and Joe Johnson, and the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh.
Voted to start for the West were the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, the Houston Rockets' Yao Ming, the Lakers' Bryant, and the New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul. The East starters are comprised of the Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose, the Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire, and the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard.
NBA Commissioner David Stern will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game. If the injured player is a starter, the head coach of that team will determine who replaces him in the starting lineup.
The 14 players selected -- seven each from the Eastern and Western Conferences -- were chosen by 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.
The Celtics' Doc Rivers earned the right to coach the East squad following Boston's 95-90 win over the Sacramento Kings Feb. 2. San Antonio's Gregg Popovich earned the right to coach the West following the Spurs' 113-102 win over the Golden State Warriors Jan. 24. The East and West All-Star coaches were determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 6.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S. and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
The All-Star Game will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league's history for a global celebration of the game. The week leading up to the All-Star Game will feature a full slate of community-enhancing activities, fan festivals and events, including the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge Youth Jam, and NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm. NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, the hugely successful interactive basketball celebration, will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Los Angeles and Staples Center will host NBA All-Star 2011, marking the fifth time The City of Angels and the second time Staples Center will be the site of the annual celebration. Staples Center last played host to NBA All-Star in 2004, and L.A. also hosted the All-Star Game in 1963, 1972, and 1983.