If only this could have happened a season sooner… the starters for the 2012 NBA all-star game that will be played in Orlando were announced Thursday night, with four of the West’s representatives coming from Los Angeles teams. Here is each conference’s starting five, with their respective number of appearances in parentheses:
- Chris Paul (5th)
- Kobe Bryant (14th consecutive)
- Kevin Durant (3rd)
- Blake Griffin (2nd)
- Andrew Bynum (1st)
This year will be the first time in 15 years that two pairs of teammates were voted as starters for one conference (Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon/Charles Barkley and Seattle’s Gary Payton/Shawn Kemp accomplished the feat in 1997). Kobe ties the record for most consecutive times being voted as a starter with his 14th selection, shared with Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and Jerry West.
Though all are fan favorites, the starters for each team have proven worthy of their selections with their play this season. The only real argument you could make would be at power forward for the west squad, with Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge also having great starts and should be given reserve nods for their efforts. You could also make an argument for Chris Bosh as a third Miami Heat starter in place of the inconsistent play of Carmelo Anthony.
This season’s all-star weekend is scheduled for February 24-26 with the main events being televised on TNT. All-star reserves will be named next Thursday, also on TNT.