Thursday , Jan , 20 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Front and center: Yao, Shaq lead NBA All-Star voting

=== Front and center: Yao, Shaq lead NBA All-Star voting ===

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

NBA fans from around the globe will be responsible for selecting the starters
for the 54th NBA All-Star Game, which is scheduled for Sunday, February 20
in Denver.

With 2,153,039 votes, Yao leads all players and is followed at the center
position in the Western Conference by Sacramento’s Brad Miller (328,537).
Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett, who was the league’s Most Valuable Player last
season, is first among Western Conference forwards with 1,755,124 votes
followed by Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs with 1,446,824. Leading the
Western Conference guards were Houston Rocket Tracy McGrady (1,688,159) and
Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant (1,551,177).

In the East, O’Neal has racked up a conference-high 2,099,201 votes. Leading
the forward position are New Jersey’s Vince Carter with 1,505,169 and Grant
Hill of the Orlando Magic with 1,273,846. Cleveland’s LeBron James (1,351,369)
and Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson (1,341,824) are 1-2 at the guard
position.

All-Star balloting continues through Sunday with the unveiling of the game’s
starters scheduled to be announced on February 3.