Thursday , Dec , 16 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Yao and Shaq lead way in NBA All-Star balloting

=== Yao and Shaq lead way in NBA All-Star balloting ===

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets leads all
players in the Western Conference, while Shaquille O’Neal of the Miami Heat
paces all players in the Eastern Conference after the first returns of votes
in the 2005 NBA All-Star balloting program.

Through the balloting program, NBA fans from around the globe will be
responsible for voting in the starters for the 54th NBA All-Star Game, which
will take place in Denver on Sunday, February 20.

Yao leads all players with 881,223 votes and is followed at the center
position in the Western Conference by Sacramento’s Brad Miller (130,824).
Kevin Garnett, the 2003-04 NBA Most Valuable Player, is first among Western
Conference forwards with 751,586 votes, with San Antonio’s Tim Duncan
(570,090) second. Houston’s Tracy McGrady (680,373) and the Lakers’ Kobe
Bryant (673,665) pace all Western Conference guards.

In the Eastern Conference, O’Neal garnered 854,930 votes and is followed at
the center position by Detroit’s Ben Wallace (266,891). The top two vote-
getters at forward are Toronto’s Vince Carter (619,959) and Orlando’s Grant
Hill (552,328), while Cleveland’s LeBron James (557,538) and Philadelphia’s
Allen Iverson (521,245) are 1-2 at the guard position.

The balloting program continues through January 23, 2005 and the unveiling of
the All-Star starters will occur on Thursday, February 3. Following the
completion of fan voting and the starting lineup announcement, the head
coaches in each conference will vote to determine the remaining All-Stars in
the respective conferences.