Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs will start at center for the injured Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming in the National Basketball Association All-Star game, Western Conference coach Gregg Popovich said.
Yao, who was voted a starter by fans, is sidelined for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his left ankle. NBA Commissioner David Stern selected Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love to take Yao’s spot on the roster.
The 34-year-old Duncan will be appearing in his 13th consecutive All-Star game. The decision, announced yesterday by Spurs coach Popovich, means Duncan will be making his 12th straight start. Among active players, that’s second only to the 13 straight starts by the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.
The 60th NBA All-Star game will be held Feb. 20 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.