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Players who do not have a family name get star votes from their NBA peers

Semi Ojeleye, Cedi Osman and Royce O & # 39; Neale have never started in an NBA game. Cameron Payne played for the last time in April. Matt Costello has scored two points in his career in the NBA.

They are not stars.

However, somehow, someone in an NBA wardrobe apparently thought they should start at this year's All-Star Game.

Only 10 players will start in Los Angeles on February 18, but 249 players, approximately half of the league, were included in at least one ballot in the player's part of the All-Star selection process. And while some of the results might suggest that not everyone took it seriously, the list seemed to leave Amir Johnson of Philadelphia genuinely moved.

"That's great, friend," Johnson said Thursday night when he was told he got a vote. "That shows you how we are together … They're just all against the world, we're against everyone."

So guys like Ojeleye, Osman, O & # 39; Neale, Payne and Costello got the vote of at least one player. Andre Iguodala, a Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals, did not.

The league is testing a new format for the All-Star Game this season, using captains to choose the rosters. LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the main winners of each conference, will select their teams next week in a draft that is not scheduled to be televised. It's part of the way the NBA tries to make the game more competitive and relevant.

Players seem to have fun with the league process.

"I'm not sure who voted, but put it out there, whoever they voted for me, I really appreciate it," said 76ers guard TJ McConnell, the proud receiver of two initial votes from the players.

Star voting is divided into three parts: fan voting is 50 percent, media voting is 25 percent, and voting is the remaining 25 percent. The tickets are counted, then weighted, and from there the holders are chosen. And it is important to keep in mind that what most of the players chose coincided to a large extent with the results of the votes of the fans and the media.

Players could vote for themselves. As Johnson did not know he had a vote, it would be reasonable to think he did not take that route.

"I think it's a drug," Johnson said after Philadelphia beat Boston. "The players recognize who is doing well, who is improving around the league, you know, and it's pretty impressive to see."

Of the 249 players who obtained an initial vote, more than half – 53 percent – appeared in no more than two balls issued.

And 249 players got at least one The vote of their peers as a starter looks like a lot, but that total also dropped a bit compared to last season when 283 players came to the polls.

Some other notes on the All-Star vote:

Manu case

Like Dwyane Wade last year, if it was the past, two years ago, Manu Ginobili of San Antonio would start the All-Star Game.

Ginobili was second in the voting among fans of the Western Conference guards, behind Stephen Curry of Golden State. Ginobili ranked eighth in the votes of the players and did not appear on any media ticket.

In this new system, with those things weighted and then factored, Ginóbili finished fourth in the race of the west guard behind Curry, James Harden and Russell. Westbrook.

Ginobili is an All-Star twice, with appearances in 2005 and 2011.

Election of the people

Draymond Green of Golden State got the second majority of the votes of the fans who voted for the front players of the Western Conference. But Green does not own all the stars, because he finished sixth in the media vote and seventh in the players' vote.

"Disappointing, for sure," Curry told reporters after the numbers were published Thursday night.

Zhou Fans

Zhou Qi from Dallas has played a total of 75 minutes in 14 games this season, averaging 1.2 points.

But it's a global game, with a worldwide vote, and it's likely that he received help from some social media from basketball fans in his homeland of China. He finished 21st overall in the vote of the Western Conference fans.

Hayward Tribute

Boston's Gordon Hayward, whose season derailed when he broke his ankle five minutes into the opening season of the Celtics in Cleveland, was not forgotten. He was chosen as a starter on the two-player ballots, and finished 16th in fan voting among the front Eastern Conference players.

Votes in press

A total of 99 media members invited by the league to participate returned the ballots. LeBron James of Cleveland and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee were the only players who appeared on all of their ballots, while Kevin Durant of Golden State was in 98, Kyrie Irving of Boston was in 96 and James Harden of Houston was in 94.


Associate Press writers Doug Alden and Gethin Coolbaugh in Boston contributed to this report.

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