NBA All-Star Starters Announced: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant Lead Conferences Into Battle

The NBA on Thursday announced the final voting results to name the starters for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, scheduled for Feb. 20 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Carmelo Anthony held off Lakers star Pau Gasol to earn a starting spot in the West, while Derrick Rose claimed a contested East guard spot over the Celtics' Rajon Rondo.

Amar'e Stoudemire held off Boston's Kevin Garnett to become the first Knick to be voted into an All-Star starting lineup since 1992 (Patrick Ewing). The last time any Knicks made the All-Star roster was 2001 (Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell).

Here are the full starting line-ups for each conference.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

  • Guard: Derrick Rose, Bulls
  • Guard: Dwyane Wade, Heat
  • Forward: LeBron James, Heat
  • Forward: Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks
  • Center: Dwight Howard, Magic

WESTERN CONFERENCE

  • Guard: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
  • Guard: Chris Paul, Hornets
  • Forward: Kevin Durant, Thunder
  • Forward: Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
  • Center: Yao Ming, Rockets

Given that Yao is out for the season, commissioner David Stern will choose an injury replacement to add to the West roster. But according to the league, that replacement won't be made until after coaches select reserves.

NBA head coaches (or their designated PR flacks) will now vote on seven reserve spots in each conference. Coaches aren't allowed to vote for their own players, and must include at least one center, two forwards and two guards on their ballots. Once the reserves are named, Stern will announce a replacement for Yao and any other players who pull out of the game. Gregg Popovich, who will coach the West All-Stars, will select one of his reserves to take Yao's starting spot. Gasol, who played center during Andrew Bynum's injury, would be a likely choice, as would Pop's own big man Tim Duncan.

In the event 'Melo is traded before the All-Star Game, he'd play for the East team, and a replacement would be named to the West starters.

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