Sixteen games might not be enough to prove your All-Star worth for one season, but Allen Iverson’s 13-plus years in the NBA certainly has cemented himself as a fan favorite.
Tonight, Iverson was officially named a starting guard for the Eastern Conference in the Feb. 14 All-Star Game in Dallas in fan balloting.
Iverson finished second among East guards with 1,269,568 votes. He will be joined in the backcourt by Miami’s Dwyane Wade (2,327,550). Orlando’s Vince Carter was third in the voting (1,048,977).
Orlando's Dwight Howard is the starting center. Cleveland's LeBron James and Boston's Kevin Garnett are the forwards.
"I really think it’s an honor,” Iverson said this week. “The fans make us. Without the fans, there would be no us. For them to vote me in, being that I’ve only played 20 games or less, says a lot about them appreciating what I do on the basketball court. It’s a good feeling that the fans want to see me play. I’m looking forward to it.”
This could be Iverson’s 10th All-Star appearance. Iverson has said whether he plays will be determined by how he feels physically.
In his nine previous All-Star appearances, he has averaged 14.4 points and 6.2 assists. He was named MVP of the game in 2001 and 2005.
Iverson is averaging 14.8 points and 4.5 assists since joining the Sixers.
The selection is sure to stir debate, including during the selection show on TNT. Charles Barkley said he thinks Iverson should "decline the invitation" and not play in the game.
He also talked about the residual effect as the reserves are selected, because a player will be left off the East roster because of Iverson's selection.
For the Western Conference, Denver's Carmelo Anthony and San Antonio's Tim Dunca are the forwards, Phoenix' Amar'e Stoudemire starts at center, and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Suns' Steve Nash start at the guards.