4 first-timers, including Paul George, voted to start NBA All-Star game

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Pacers forward/guard Paul George was named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

George, Stephen Curry, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving have all been voted NBA All-Stars, putting four first-time starters in the Feb. 16 game in New Orleans.

"It’s huge. It’s special, it’s a blessing, especially coming from where I come from," said George. "Gaining votes through the fans to be a starter…A lot of guys come into the league and they already have a name and an image, and fans already are following them and already know about their game coming into the league. For me to have nothing really, it’s love to the true fans that I have so I think it’s special."

George is the third Pacers player to start the NBA All-Star Game, joining Reggie Miller (1995) and Jermaine O’Neal (2003, 2004 and 2006) as Pacers voted by the fans to start for the Eastern Conference, Pacers officials said.

Kobe Bryant was elected by fans to his 16th All-Star game, second-most in NBA history, but this one is shaping up as a kids' game.

Curry, perhaps the biggest snub last season, will join him in the Western Conference backcourt. Love passed Dwight Howard in the final days of voting and will start in the frontcourt along with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and the Clippers' Blake Griffin.

LeBron James was the leading vote-getter with 1.4 million votes and Miami teammate Dwyane Wade was also voted in Thursday. George, who has led Indiana to the league's best record, and New York's Carmelo Anthony are the other East forwards, and Irving will start at guard.

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