Friday, January 29, 2010

Nowitzki leads parade of reserves to Dallas


NEW YORK -- Dirk Nowitzki of the hometown Dallas Mavericks was named an NBA All-Star for the ninth time on Thursday as the NBA announced the list of 14 players -- including seven first-timers -- that have been selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2010 All-Star Game. The 59th NBA All-Star Game will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, before an expected crowd of more than 80,000 -- the largest group ever to witness a live basketball game -- on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010.

Joining Nowiztki on the West squad are the Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol, the New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul, the Portland Trail Blazers' Brandon Roy, and three first-timers -- the Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant and the Utah Jazz's Deron Williams.

In the Eastern Conference, four first-time selections -- the Atlanta Hawks' Al Horford, the Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo, the Charlotte Bobcats' Gerald Wallace and the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose -- are joined by the Hawks' Joe Johnson, the Celtics' Paul Pierce and the Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh. Rose also was selected to play in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, which will be held in Dallas at American Airlines Center on Friday, Feb. 12.

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.

Selected to start for the East -- through the 2010 NBA All-Star Balloting Program presented by T-Mobile -- were the Celtics' Kevin Garnett, the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard, the Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade and the Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson. The Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, the Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire, and the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan will start for the West.

Should any player be unable to participate in the All-Star Game due to injury, NBA commissioner David Stern will select the replacement.

The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Jan. 31. Last year's East and West coaches -- Cleveland's Mike Brown and the L.A. Lakers' Phil Jackson -- are not eligible to coach this year's All-Star Game.

NBA All-Star 2010 in Dallas 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 59th NBA All-Star Game will feature a full slate of community-enhancing activities and fan festivals, including NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas and the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. This will be the second NBA All-Star in Dallas. The city also hosted the event in 1986.

In conjunction with All-Star Balloting, 2K Sports will give fans the opportunity to experience Dallas and the best of basketball by entering the NBA® 2K10 Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to NBA All-Star 2010 and have their likeness as a digitized player incorporated in next year's game, NBA® 2K11.

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