Pau Gasol of the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and rookie Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers are homeward bound as the NBA announced the list of 14 players that have been selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2011 All-Star Game.

Gasol and Griffin join the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who was voted to start, as representatives of the host city’s NBA franchises during the 60th NBA All-Star Game, which will be played at Staples Center in LA on February 20.

Love (right) was a shock omission

However there was a quick reprieve for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, who was initially omitted despite leading the league in rebounding with over 15 boards per game. The Team USA star was called up as Commissioner David Stern named a replacement for the injured Yao Ming.

Joining Gasol and Griffin as reserves on the West squad are the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook – who joins Griffin as the only first-timers in this year’s game – the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and the Utah Jazz’s Deron Williams.

Griffin becomes the first rookie to play in an NBA All-Star Game since the Houston Rockets’ centre Yao was selected to start in 2003. Duncan and Bryant have been selected to 13 straight All-Star games.

All Star 2011 will take place in LA

In the Eastern Conference, Kevin Garnett – who makes a record-equalling 14th appearance – is joined by three Celtics teammates — Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Rounding out the East squad are the Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford and Joe Johnson, and the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh.

“It matters to me, I would’ve been really disappointed,” Bosh said. “Guys will say they want the time off but then if they don’t call your name, you’ll be a little tight. It is still getting the accolade and the award and knowing for another year you’re an All Star.”

Voted to start for the West were the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony, Yao, Bryant, and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul. The East starters are comprised of the Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose, the Heat’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire, and the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard.

The Celtics’ Doc Rivers earned the right to coach the East squad while San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich will lead the West.

Photos: NBA/Getty

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