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NBA All-Star weekend tips off

  |   Feb. 17, 2006 at 2:32 PM
HOUSTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The 2006 NBA All-Star weekend in Houston tips off with the McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and culminates Sunday with the NBA All-Star game.

Detroit Coach Flip Saunders leads LeBron James and his Eastern Division squad against Dallas Coach Avery Johnson and Kobe Bryant's Western Division team in the main event of the weekend at 8:30 p.m. EST Sunday.

James, Allen Iverson, Dwayne Wade, Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal were selected to start Sunday's game for the East while Bryant, Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan and Yao Ming were selected as starters for the West. Jermaine O'Neal, however, will sit out the contest due to injury.

Perhaps the weekend's most anticipated event, the slam dunk contest, features Atlanta's Josh Smith defending his 2005 title on Saturday night against three others, including New York's Nate Robinson, who stands 5 feet, 9 inches.

Other notable events of the weekend include Saturday's Three-Point Shootout, with New York's Quentin Richardson looking to defend his 2005 title, and Friday's Rookie Challenge, when Orlando's Dwight Howard and other second-year players square off against Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut and the 2005 NBA rookie class.

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