PORTLAND, Ore. Based on the first set of returns released Thursday, it looks unlikely that any Jazz player will be selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA's 2008 All-Star Game.
Jazz scoring and rebounds leader Carlos Boozer who was chosen to play as a reserve in last season's game, but did not because of a knee injury leads all Jazz players in votes received so far with 175,248.
But Boozer trails Denver's Carmelo Anthony (482,1270), reigning NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas (443,117) and two-time NBA MVP Tim Duncan of San Antonio (423,608) among Western forwards, and only two are chosen to start via fan balloting.
Jazz center Mehmet Okur chosen for last season's game as an injury replacement ranks just sixth among Western centers with 51,017 votes, trailing Houston's Yao Ming (439,125), Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire (286,401), Dallas' Erick Dampier (101,878), Denver's Marcus Camby (94,473) and Memphis' Pau Gasol (73,461).
Jazz point guard Deron Williams and small forward Andrei Kirilenko, a participant in 2004, do not rank among leaders at their respective positions, meaning Williams has drawn fewer than 100,422 votes and Kirilenko fewer than 83,544.
Boston forward Kevin Garnett leads all vote recipients with 735,664, and Cleveland's LeBron James is second behind Garnett among Eastern Conference forwards with 597,768.
Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard leads Eastern centers at 596,187, with Miami's Dwyane Wade (470,921) and New Jersey's Jason Kidd (342,468) tops among the conference's guards.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant leads the race among Western guards with 569,302, ahead of (in order) Houston's Tracy McGrady, Phoenix's Steve Nash and Denver's Allen Iverson.Next balloting update for the All-Star Game which will be played Feb. 17 in New Orleans is scheduled for Dec.27. Starters will be announced Jan. 24, and reserves (as selected by coaches) on Jan. 31.
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