Suns forward Amaré Stoudemire has lost his hold on a potential starting spot in the Feb. 15 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Denver's Carmelo Anthony passed Stoudemire for the second spot among Western Conference forwards in the final announcement of voting returns today before the All-Star starters are announced Jan. 22.
Stoudemire not only has gone from a 43,137-vote lead on the first returns to a 10,431-vote deficit to Anthony on the latest returns but he now has Houston's Ron Artest only 3,698 behind him. Artest, riding the voting power of China that all of Yao Ming's Rockets teammates get, is now only 3,698 votes behind Stoudemire after jumping past Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki.
The top two vote-getters among West forwards will start. San Antonio's Tim Duncan is the easy leader at forward and would currently be starting with Yao, Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady. The East starters would be Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard.
Suns center Shaquille O'Neal (1,006,383 votes) remains a distant second behind Yao (1,758,499) for the West's starting center spot. Suns guard Steve Nash slipped to seventh among guards, falling behind Golden State's Jamal Crawford on the latest ballots.
Paper ballot voting runs through Sunday with online and wireless voting continuing until Jan. 19.