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Rose Named All-Star Starter

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 28, 2011 4:00PM

The NBA announced its fan selections for the upcoming All-Star Game on Thursday night. For the first time since Michael Jordan retired, the the Bulls have a player in the starting line-up. Derrick Rose was voted to start for the Eastern Conference team in the Feb. 20 game. Rose will team up with Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire.

Rose has become a force this season, averaging 24.6 points, 8.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game, as the Bulls stampeded to a 31-14 record and first-place standing in the Central Division. Off to their best start since the Jordan era, they've done so despite having power forward Carlos Boozer and center Joakim Noah in the line-up together for just nine games.

Coaches select the reserves for the All-Star game, and it's possible that another Bull or two might join Rose in Los Angeles. While Noah looked to be a lock before going down with a thumb injury, Boozer seems to be the most likely selection now. Since joining the line-up on December 1, Boozer has averaged 19.9 points/game and 10 rebounds/game. Small forward Luol Deng is another possible selection.

The fans are sure to be ecstatic to see Rose voted into the All-Star game, and he surely wants to show them his gratitude. "I'm feeling loved right now, and I appreciate all the support," Rose said in a statement. "I want to thank all the fans that voted, especially the people from my hometown of Chicago." However, he might not have the opportunity to do so in person when the Bulls host the Orlando Magic at the United Center tonight. Rose was diagnosed with two stomach ulcers on Thursday, after suffering what was described earlier in the week as heartburn and flu-like symptoms. The ulcers may prevent Rose from taking the court as the Bulls try to avenge their biggest loss of the season, a 107-78 whipping by the Magic in Boozer's first game. While Rose is expected to fully recover from his ulcers, he commented, "I thought I was eating fine. I had a chef and everything. But I have to stop eating spicy food."