Wolves on the All-Star Ballot 14 Nov 12

Minneapolis/St. Paul – The NBA and Sprint tipped off 2013 NBA All-Star Balloting today during a special tip-off event in Houston, the Official Host City of NBA All-Star 2013. Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic will represent the Timberwolves on the ballot as fans worldwide have the opportunity to vote for their favorite players as starters for the 62nd NBA All-Star Game. NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint will begin today at 2:30 p.m. CT.

2013 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint gives fans around the world the opportunity to vote daily for their favorite players as starters for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston. For the first time ever, NBA fans can vote via social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ in China.

Fans are encouraged to vote for Love, Rubio, Kirilenko and Pekovic right from timberwolves.com/vote. There they can find out all the ways to vote for their Wolves All-Star candidates by way of Facebook, Twitter, NBA.com and mobile texting. Fans can visit timberwolves.com/vote every day to cast their ballot to send their Wolves players to the 2013 All-Star Game in Houston.

Love, a 6-10 forward, made his second All-Star Game appearance last season, finishing fifth among Western Conference forwards with 373,880 fan votes. He also was crowned the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest winner as part of All-Star Weekend in Orlando. The fifth-year forward is expected to miss another 2-4 weeks after breaking two bones in his right hand on October 17. Named to the 2012 All-NBA Second Team, Love averaged a career-high 26.0 points per game a season ago, fourth-most in the NBA.

Rubio, who is currently out of the lineup recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) in his left knee, brought in 397,456 fan votes in his rookie season, good for third among Western Conference guards. In 41 games, 31 starts, the 6-4 guard averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game en route to being named to the 2012 All-NBA Rookie First Team.

Kirilenko, who signed with the Wolves in the offseason as a free-agent, is averaging 11.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists. 2.0 blocks and 1.7 steals in seven games, all starts, for Minnesota. An All-Star in 2003-04 with Utah, Kirilenko is currently ranked 10th in the NBA in field goal percentage (57.1%), 14th in blocks, 24th in steals and 29th in rebounds. The 6-9 forward’s 16-point, 11-rebound performance in Minnesota’s 90-82 win at Dallas last night was his third double-double on the season.

Pekovic, a 6-11 center, is currently averaging a team- and career-high 15.3 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 53.8% from the floor. Pekovic finished third in the NBA’s Most Improved Player balloting a year ago after averaging 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in his second NBA season.

Twitter voting will allow fans to tweet a vote for one player each day throughout the All-Star balloting period. The tweet must include a player’s first and last name, along with hash tag #NBABALLOT. Facebook voting will allow fans to fill out one full ballot (three frontcourt and two guards from each conference) per day, through a custom application on Facebook.

Fans can also access the ballot and vote through the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint applications, available on Android and iOS. NBA fans can fill out one full ballot (three frontcourt and two guards from each conference) per day, through the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint application, the most comprehensive app in the marketplace for NBA fans.

There are several other ways fans can cast their votes as part of this season’s all-digital program including: in 11 languages on NBA.com/ASB, through SMS voting by texting the player’s last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (“MYNBA”) or by visiting NBA.com/ASB on any wireless device. Fans can vote for 10 different players per day, per phone number, via SMS voting by sending 10 separate SMS messages, each one with a different player’s last name. Message and data rates may apply.

After submitting their All-Star selections, fans will have the ability to share them with their friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter, and encourage others to cast their ballots.

Balloting will conclude on Jan. 14, and starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 17, during a special one-hour pregame show at 6 p.m. CT featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The special will air prior to TNT’s exclusive doubleheader featuring the Los Angeles Clippers at the Minnesota Timberwolves (7 p.m. CT) and the Miami Heat at the Los Angeles Lakers (9:30 p.m. CT).

The NBA All-Star ballot lists 120 players – 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences – with 36 frontcourt and 24 guards from each conference comprising the list. Voters select three frontcourt and two guards from each conference. Previously, the ballot featured three positions with fans picking two guards, two forwards and a center.

The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA: Steve Aschburner (NBA.com), Jonathan Feigen (Houston Chronicle), Doug Smith (Toronto Star/PBWA), and Kenny Smith (TNT).

The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be exclusively televised on TNT from Toyota Center on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. The All-Star Game, also broadcast live on ESPN Radio, will collectively reach fans in more than 220 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. NBA All-Star 2013 in Houston will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for an 11th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 29th year of All-Star coverage. State Farm NBA All-Star Saturday Night will feature the NBA All-Star Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2013 will include the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session. The 2013 game will mark the third NBA All-Star celebration in Houston. The city also hosted the event in 1989 and in 2006.