HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The polls are closed and the voting is done for the 2012 All-Star Game.
The starters will be announced tonight live on TNT during a special one-hour pregame show at 7 p.m. ET, with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, followed by the TNT doubleheader featuring the Bulls and Knicks (8 p.m. ET) and Nuggets-Clippers (10:30 p.m.). There will also be a special one-hour pregame show on TNT on Feb. 9 to announce the All-Star reserves.
But it’s a bittersweet time here at the hideout. We woke up this morning and realized that there was yet another casualty of the five-month lockout that abbreviated this season. There were none of the clever All-Star campaign ads (like the one above featuring Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love or the one below of Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, both from last season) to entertain us this time around.
The mailbox and inbox here at the hideout are usually overflowing with campaign literature and trinkets touting one player or another, but this year there was nothing.
We’ll get over it, of course. The announcement of the starters tonight and the Eastern and Western Conference reserves next week will certainly help take the pain away.
We’ve already penciled in the starters, based on the second returns announced last week. So barring any surprises, the starters for both sides in Orlando should look like this:
Heat forward LeBron James
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony
Magic Center Dwight Howard
Bulls guard Derrick Rose
Heat guard Dwyane Wade
Clippers forward Blake Griffin
Thunder forward Kevin Durant
Lakers center Andrew Bynum
Clippers guard Chris Paul
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant