Lamar Odom on All-Star ballot
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom is widely considered to be one of the most well-rounded talents in the NBA. He's used his skills to capture two NBA championships and a gold medal this summer at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey, but one distinction has eluded the 12-year veteran.
He's never made an NBA All-Star team.
The league unveiled its official 2011 NBA All-Star ballot Thursday, and Odom was one of six Lakers included.
Los Angeles is the host city for the NBA's 60th All-Star Game, which will be played at Staples Center on Feb. 20.
Odom is a big reason for the Lakers' 10-2 start to the season. The 6-foot-10 lefty is currently averaging 14.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game and is among league leaders in rebounds (eighth), field goal percentage (fifth; 58.5 percent) and 3-point percentage (fifth; 58.8 percent).
"I'm not sure [if I'll make the All-Star team]," Odom said recently. "When Andrew comes back when he's healthy, it's going to be a challenge because I'm going to come off the bench. It's something that I look forward to as far as a feat. I don't know how many guys make the All-Star team and come off the bench. But, if I can keep playing at this level and stay focused, confident, then I'll give it a shot."
Bynum has not played yet this year as he recovers from offseason surgery on his right knee. He is expected to replace Odom in the starting lineup sometime in December.
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Bryant is a three-time All-Star MVP and led the Western Conference in balloting each of the past three seasons. His 26.3 points per game currently ranks third in the NBA in scoring average.
Gasol currently ranks in the top 20 in four major statistical categories: scoring (12th; 22.9 points), rebounds (third; 12.2), field goal percentage (11th; 55.0 percent) and blocks (19th; 1.50).
Artest ranks 15th in the NBA in steals per game (1.75) and Fisher's 3-point percentage (60.0) is currently third.
Voting opened at 3 p.m. ET Thursday. There are several ways fans can cast their votes, including: at each NBA arena; in 20 languages on NBA.com; and through mobile phones by texting the player's last name to 6-9-6-2-2 ("MYNBA") or by visiting m.nba.com on any wireless carrier. Starters will be announced live on TNT on January 27.
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), Marv Albert (TNT), Art Garcia (NBA.com), Marc Spears (Yahoo! Sports), Doug Smith (The Toronto Star) and Ian Thomsen (Sports Illustrated).
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.