The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will have quite a local flavor, as the Staples Center will have many Los Angeles players to root for, especially on the Western Conference. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers has his annual spot in the starting lineup, but will be joined by four others with local ties, including rookie and highlight machine Blake Griffin of the Clippers.
Pau Gasol of the Lakers has made his fourth NBA All-Star team, including his third with the Lakers, all in a row. The Western Conference squad is full of players with All-Star experience, but the three players making their All-Star debut all have Los Angeles roots. In addition to Griffin, fellow first-timers Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love were teammates for one season, in 2007-2008, at UCLA, helping the Bruins to reach the Final Four.
Love was a selection by NBA commissioner David Stern to replace the injured Yao Ming of the Rockets, who was voted to start but is out for the season. While Love took Yao's All-Star roster spot, Tim Duncan of the Spurs was picked to start at center by his coach, Gregg Popovich, making this the 12th consecutive All-Star start for the future Hall of Famer. Here is your full Western Conference All-Star Roster:
- Guard: Chris Paul, New Orleans (4th All-Star selection, 3rd game 2nd start)
- Guard: Kobe Bryant, Lakers (13th selection, 12th game, 12th start)
- Forward: Carmelo Anthony, Denver (4th game, 3rd start)
- Forward: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City (2nd game, 1st start)
- Center: Tim Duncan, San Antonio (13th game, 12th start)
- Guard: Manu Ginobili, San Antonio (2nd game)
- Guard: Deron Williams, Utah (2nd game)
- Guard: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City (1st game)
- Forward: Blake Griffin, Clippers (1st game)
- Forward: Pau Gasol, Lakers (4th game)
- Forward: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas (10th game)
- Forward: Kevin Love, Minnesota (1st game)
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio
The 60th NBA All-Star Game will be televised Sunday at 5 p.m. PST on TNT, with the pregame show, NBA Tip-Off, on TNT at 4 p.m. PST.