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The NBA and Sprint tipped off the 2013 NBA All-Star balloting on Tuesday during a special event in Houston, the host city of next year's All-Star Game.
The balloting gives fans around the world the opportunity to vote daily for their favorite players as starters for the game. For the first time, fans can vote via social media networks, including Sina and Tencent in China.
Sina and Tencent will allow fans to fill out one vote per day by clicking the name of the player on a balloting promotion page on NBA.com/china. Fans can also tweet a vote for a player each day. The tweet must include a player's Chinese name along with this tag: #2012NBAALLSTARBALLOT#.
After submitting their All-Star selections, fans will be able to share them with their friends on Sina and Tencent, and encourage others to cast their ballots.
Balloting will conclude on Jan 14 and starters will be announced on TNT on Jan 17 during a special one-hour pregame show featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith. The special will air before TNT's exclusive doubleheader featuring the Los Angeles Clippers at the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Miami Heat at the Los Angeles Lakers.
The NBA All-Star ballot lists 120 players — 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences — with 36 front-court players and 24 guards from each conference comprising the lists. Voters can select three front-court players 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 media personnel who regularly cover the NBA.
The All-Star Game will be televised on TNT from the Toyota Center on Sunday, Feb 17. The All-Star Game, also broadcast live on ESPN Radio, will reach fans in more than 220 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. NBA All-Star 2013 will bring together some of the most talented players 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.
NBA All-Star Saturday Night, presented by State Farm, will feature the NBA All-Star Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk event. There will also be 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.