The 2013 NBA All-Star Game has been scheduled. It will take place in Houston, Texas on February 17. In preparation for this mid-year showcase, the NBA has submitted 120 player names to the ballots with 60 players representing the Eastern Conference and 60 players representing the Western Conference. These players were selected by a panel of NBA analysts including: Steve Aschburner, Jonathan Feigen, Doug Smith and Kenny Smith.
The Chicago Bulls can take pride knowing that they have five names amongst those 60 in the East. The Bulls have Carlos Boozer, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson representing them this year. Now, even though five players represent Chicago on the ballot, it doesn’t automatically mean that they are on the roster. In 2012 they only saw Derrick Rose and Deng play for the East with Rose being named a starter and Deng being selected to his first All Star Game in his career. The Bulls also snuck another name into the All Star Game, Head Coach Tom Thibodeau was named the Eastern All Stars coach for the game.
Fans have two new features coming their way this year when it comes to voting. The first feature is based on positions; fans are now voting for players based on two positions: guards and frontcourt players. It used to be that the ballot consisted of three positions and the fans voted for two guards, two forwards and one center. This rule was changed over the offseason. The second new feature allows fans to vote for their selections via social media such as Facebook and Twitter as opposed to just paper ballots. Fans can now hashtag their selections, text their selections and even share their selections online with smartphone applications. Voting will conclude on January 14th and starters will be announced on January 17th.