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HORACE GRANT: DENG SHOULD BE ALL-STAR
- Updated: November 19, 2010
As Luol Deng is included on the voting ballot for this season’s NBA All-Star Game, Chicago Bulls legend Horace Grant tells MVP that the Great Britain international should get a spot.
Deng – who is averaging a career-high 19.6 ppg this term – recently became the first Bulls player to score 40 or more points in a game since ex-team-mate (and fellow Brit) Ben Gordon dropped 43 on Miami in 2009.
Speaking exclusively to MVP, Grant – who won three titles with the legendary Chicago team of the 90s – said the Londoner deserved a place at the All-Star Game.
“Most definitely,” he insisted. “I have always liked Luol’s game. He’s a slasher, he’s a scorer – and plus he can play defence.
“After signing that big contract, he just had a down year and a half – and many guys go through that. But right now I think he’s definitely redeemed himself, in terms of coming out this year and just playing some great basketball. And he does have a legitimate shot to make the All-Star team”.
Ben Gordon is also hoping for his first All-Star call-up in his sixth season in the league.
The London-born guard ranks 20th among league leaders in free throw percentage (.889) and 27th in both field goal percentage (.520) and three-point field goal percentage (.452).
Fans can select their choices to start the annual contest, which will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 20, on nba.com. The coaches will then choose the reserves once voting concludes on January 23.
The NBA All-Star ballot lists 120 players – 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences – with 24 guards, 24 forwards, and 12 centers from each conference comprising the list.
Voters select two guards, two forwards and one center from each conference.
The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA: J.A. Adande (ESPN.com), Marv Albert (TNT), Art Garcia (NBA.com) Marc Spears (Yahoo! Sports), Doug Smith (The Toronto Star) and Ian Thomsen (Sports Illustrated).