Friday , Feb , 03 , 2012 Paul Eide

2012 NBA All-Star Starters Announced

Of the 10 players to be announced as starters this year, eight of them were starters last season. Amar’e Stoudemire started at forward for the East last season but was replaced this year by teammate Carmelo Anthony. Anthony, who started for the West last season, was replaced by first timer Blake Griffin this year. The retirement of Yao Ming also opened a starting spot which was filled by Lakers center Andrew Bynum.

Here is the list of starters for each squad:

West

  • G- Kobe Bryant
  • G- Chris Paul
  • F- Blake Griffin
  • F- Kevin Durant
  • C- Andrew Bynum

East

  • G- Derrick Rose
  • G- Dwyane Wade
  • F- LeBron James
  • F- Carmelo Anthony
  • C- Dwight Howard

Dwight Hoard led all vote getters with over 1.6 million votes, while Kobe Bryant led the West with a similar figure. Derrick Rose of Chicago finished third in total votes and is the Bulls first all start starter since Michael Jordan.

Bryant’s selection was his 14th straight all-star starting nod, tying him with Shaq, Jerry West and Karl Malone for the all-time record. If he wins the all-star game MVP this year it will be the fifth of his career, which would set an all-time record. The total of four is currently tied with Bob Petit for most of all time.

The starting of a pair of teammates for the same conference, as in the case of the Lakers and Clippers, is the first time that’s happened since 1997 when the Rockets had Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, while the Sonics had Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. OKC’s Kevin Durant prohibited an all LA West team with his selection.

“I’ve been comfortable with the NBA game since my second year, but I think I’ve kind of transformed into a different player. “I’m still scoring the basketball, I think I’m rebounding a little better and seeing the floor a little bit better,” said Durant. “It is slowing down for me, I just have to keep working every day and watching film to see how I can get better.”

The all-star reserves will be chosen by voting of the head coaches from each conference and will be announced next Thursday.

The most disappointing thing about all of this may be that because of securing a starting spot, Griffin has decided to skip the dunk contest and defend his title. “As of right now I don’t plan on being in it,” Griffin said Thursday night. “Those dunk contests aren’t my thing, I said that last year. There’s a lot of guys that can put on a great show and do some good stuff.”

Last year Blake Griffin became the first rookie voted to an all-star squad since 2003, which made for a busy weekend. “Last year was hectic and it kind of made it unenjoyable,” Griffin said. “So this year, we’ll see what will happen, but I will try to tone it down a bit and get a break instead of being so busy.”

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rondostar

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