Sunday, January 27, 2002

NBA All-Stars announced

Carter tops Jordan, leads vote-getters for third straight year

AP Basketball Writer

        NEW YORK — Vince Carter won the overall balloting, Michael Jordan made it for a 13th time and Steve Francis and Antoine Walker also cracked the starting lineups for the NBA All-Star game.

Vince Carter.
(AP photo)
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        “I could use the rest, obviously, but when the fans vote you in, it's a responsibility of upholding and living up to what they expect,” said Jordan, who received more than 500,000 fewer votes than Carter did. “I would have probably preferred to take the weekend off and just rest the body and get ready for the second half of the season.”

        Jordan will be joined on the Eastern Conference All-Star team by Toronto's Carter, Philadelphia's Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo, and Boston's Walker, the league announced Saturday.

        The All-Star game is Feb. 10 in Philadelphia.

        Carter, the leading vote-getter in 2000 and 2001, received 1,470,176 votes, joining Jordan (four times) and Julius Erving (nine times) as the only players to lead the voting at least three times.

        Shaquille O'Neal received the second-most votes of any player, 1,247,438, and will be joined on the Western Conference team by Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, San Antonio's Tim Duncan and Houston's Francis.

        Jordan, listed on the ballot as a guard even though he plays forward for the Washington Wizards, was chosen for his 13th All-Star game, while O'Neal was selected for the ninth time and Mutombo for the eighth.

        Francis is the only first-time All-Star in either starting lineup.

        “It's definitely something I wanted, but I was thinking it would come down the road,” Francis said. “Me being in just my third season, it feels pretty good to have cracked in there.”

        The closest race in the balloting was for the second guard spot in the West, where Francis beat out Seattle guard Gary Payton by almost 90,000 votes. In the East, the closest race was Walker beating out injured Orlando forward Grant Hill by almost 120,000 votes.

        “It's very special,” Walker said. “It's a great honor for any player, and to be voted in by the fans takes it to another level for me.”

        “A lot of it has to do with the way we're playing. It's an honor for them as much as me because of the way we've turned things around,” Walker said.

        The reserves will be announced Tuesday after voting by the NBA's 29 coaches, who must select two forwards, two guards, one center and two other players.

        Byron Scott of the New Jersey Nets will coach the Eastern Conference team. The West's coach will be either the Lakers' Phil Jackson, the Timberwolves' Flip Saunders or the Mavericks' Don Nelson, depending on who has the best record after Sunday's games. Sacramento's Rick Adelman, whose Kings have the NBA's best record, is ineligible because he coached the West All-Stars last year.


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