Jordan hits milestone in All-Star voting

NEW YORK -- Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan is the first player in NBA history to receive more than two million All-Star votes in one season, it was announced Sunday as the final returns of 1997 fan balloting were released.

Finishing second in the balloting was the Western Conference's top vote-getter, Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley, who received 1,877,232.

(Stats through Jan. 25)
Pos. Player Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Michael Jordan 30.7 5.8 3.9
G Penny Hardaway 18.9 5.7 5.1
C Patrick Ewing 21.4 10.8 1.7
F Grant Hill 21.4 8.7 6.9
F Scottie Pippen 19.1 6.4 5.8

Jordan led all candidates for the eighth time in his career with 2,451,136, and is the all-time leader in votes received with more than 12 million. He will be joined in the Eastern Conference starting lineup by Orlando guard Anfernee Hardaway, Detroit forward Grant Hill, Bulls forward Scottie Pippen and New York center Patrick Ewing.

Hill, who led all players in votes received in 1995 and 1996, collected 1,868,020 votes this year and was followed at forward by Pippen's 1,683,596. Chicago's Dennis Rodman, who is suspended at least through the All-Star Game for kicking a cameraman, finished third with 887,483. Washington front-court mates Chris Webber and Juwan Howard were fourth and fifth, respectively.

(Stats through Jan. 25)
Pos. Player Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Gary Payton 22.1 4.3 7.3
G John Stockton 14.2 2.6 10.4
C Hakeem Olajuwon 24.4 9.6 2.9
F Charles Barkley 19.5 14.7 4.9
F Shawn Kemp 22.0 11.6 1.6

Hardaway, who has been limited to just 15 games because of injury, finished with 1,132,024 votes. Philadelphia rookie Allen Iverson placed third at guard with 567,641 and Reggie Miller of Indiana jumped to fourth with 506,553.

Ewing bested fellow Georgetown alum Alonzo Mourning of Miami, 1,395,759 to 1,041,570, for the starting job. Dikembe Mutombo of Atlanta -- also of Georgetown -- claimed third place at 541,528.

This is the 11th All-Star selection for Jordan and Ewing, the seventh for Pippen and the third for both Hill and Hardaway.

In the West, Barkley will be joined in the starting lineup by forward Shawn Kemp of Seattle, center Hakeem Olajuwon of Houston, and guards Gary Payton of Seattle and John Stockton of Utah.

Records through Jan. 26.

(Chicago's Phil Jackson has the East's best record, but is not eligible because he coached the All-Star team last year.)

East Doug Collins Detroit 30-11
West R. Tomjanovich Houston 32-11

Barkley was followed closely in West voting by Kemp's 1,713,049. Karl Malone finished third at forward with 1,337,319 and Minnesota's Kevin Garnett had 481,911.

Olajuwon compiled 1,487,310 votes, just ahead of Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers, who had 1,305,941. San Antonio big man David Robinson, who is hurt, placed third with 753,247.

Payton collected 1,206,539 votes and Stockton came in with 1,127,250. Houston's Clyde Drexler finished a respectable third with 926,431 and the Phoenix Suns' Jason Kidd had 911,858.

This is the 12th All-Star selection for Olajuwon, the 11th for Barkley, ninth for Stockton, fifth for Kemp and fourth for Payton.

All NBA head coaches will vote for the remaining members of the All-Star teams in their respective conferences, and their selections will be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The 46th annual NBA All-Star Game will be played at Gund Arena in Cleveland on Feb. 9.

Copyright 1996-1997 Starwave Corporation and ESPN Inc. All rights reserved. Duplicated and redistributed without permission.