Blazers' Aldridge named All-Star for West

Portland forward selected as reserve for second straight season

PORTLAND — Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge figures he'll be fielding plenty of ticket requests for the All-Star game.

Aldridge, a Dallas native who still lives there in the offseason, has been selected as an All-Star reserve by the league's Western Conference coaches for the second straight year.

This season's All-Star Game, meanwhile, will be played at Houston's Toyota Center on Feb. 17. That's less than a four-hour drive from Dallas.

"That was one of my biggest fears, if I did make it, how many people would reach out for tickets?" Aldridge joked during a conference call with reporters on Thursday evening after the reserves were announced.

Aldridge, a six-year NBA veteran, acknowledges he was surprised he made the team. Even after scoring 27 points in Portland's 100-80 victory over the Pacers on Wednesday night, he was skeptical.

"It's a big honor. It means a lot to me," he said. "Hopefully I can be a three- and four-time All-Star."

Aldridge, 27, is averaging 20.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.28 blocks in 40 games this season. He and LeBron James are the NBA's lone players averaging at least 20 points and eight rebounds so far.

Aldridge is the 11th Trail Blazer to make multiple All-Star teams.

"I'm very happy for LaMarcus, he is the foundation of what we are building here," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said in a statement. "He is very deserving of this honor and I'm glad he was recognized by my fellow coaches."

The starting five in for the West's All-Star team, decided by fan vote, are Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Kevin Durant (Thunder), Blake Griffin (Clippers), Dwight Howard (Lakers) and Chris Paul (Clippers). Reserves included Aldridge, Tim Duncan (Spurs), James Harden (Rockets), David Lee (Warriors), Tony Parker (Spurs), Zach Randolph (Grizzlies) and Russell Wesbrook (Thunder).

Given the makeup of the team, it could be that the 6-foot-11 Aldridge would be pressed into duty as a center during the game.

"It's an All-Star Game so that's the only time I'm OK with playing center. Normally I don't like that center tag," Aldridge said. "It's All-Star game so it's OK as long as I'm having fun."

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