Amar’e beats out KG, gets All-Star nod
Amar’e Stoudemire will be starting the 2011 NBA All-Star game, beating out Kevin Garnett on the voting ballot. The NBA announced Thursday that Stoudemire was voted in by the fans to start alongside Lebron James at forward for the Eastern Conference at the NBA’s showcase event in Los Angeles on Feb. 20.
After holding a lead of roughly 94,000 votes after the last round of voting results were announced two weeks ago, Stoudemire more than doubled that margin when final vote counts were released.
Stoudemire received 1,674,995 votes, while Garnett garnered 1,407,601.
“You have to pick one, and I’m hoping it’s Amare because I’m with the Knicks,” coach Mike D’Antoni said prior to the announcement. “It’s the same when coaches start to pick the other seven. Instead of seven there’s usually 10 that are deserving, and somebody has to be left off and that’s too bad.”
Stoudemire becomes the first member of the Knicks voted into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing in 1997 (when an injury kept him from playing). Ewing also was an All-Star starter from 1990-92, and prior to that Bob McAdoo was the Knicks’ last starter in 1977.
This will be the sixth All-Star appearance for Stoudemire, who has led the Knicks to a record of 23-21 through 44 games, a five-game improvement from where they stood at the same point a year ago. He has eclipsed 30 points 15 times and produced 20 double-doubles. He is the NBA’s second-leading scorer, averaging 26.1 points, and ranks 12th in rebounding with 9.0 per game.
He also has emerged as a leader in a Knicks locker room that underwent a thorough overhaul in the offseason. Of the 15 players on the roster, only Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, and Eddy Curry were with the Knicks last season.
“[Stoudemire] was always good,” D’Antoni said. “He was always first-team All-NBA and we won 60 games in Phoenix, so there were a lot of positives.”
(exact word for word from full article courtesy espn.com)
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