In an announcement before Thursday's win over the Miami Heat, the New York Knicks learned that Amar'e Stoudemire will start for the Eastern Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles. Stoudemire is the first Knick to be voted into the starting five by fans since Patrick Ewing manned the middle for the East in 1992. Amar'e, who has actually played quite a bit of center for Mike D'Antoni this season, made the team as a natural power forward. Joining Stoudemire will be:
The West starters were named as well, and will include:
G Chris Paul, Hornets
G Kobe Bryant, Lakers
F Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
F Kevin Durant, Thunder
C Yao Ming, Rockets
Yao Ming was voted into the starting lineup despite being injured for most of the season. (Where are all these people voting for Yao? Oh, there they are). Kobe Bryant led all players in votes, while Dwight Howard was the Eastern Conference representative with the most support from the fans.
Meanwhile, the Knicks may not be done with All-Star Weekend invites. Second round gem Landry Fields will almost certainly start in the Rookie-Sophomore game, while Raymond Felton is a dark horse to play alongside Stoudemire for the East (though his recent struggles might snuff that bid), and Shawne Williams's league-leading percentage from downtown might get him into the three-point shootout.