Bosh hurting but popular

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

Chris Bosh may not be healthy, but he has a healthy respect from the fans around the NBA.

The first returns of the 2007 NBA all-star balloting was released yesterday and Bosh is second among all Eastern Conference forwards, trailing LeBron James.

"I'm really excited about that," said Bosh, who has missed the past three games with a sore right knee. "I just have to get back now and keep up the good play."

Not that the voting is that close. Bosh has pulled in 304,624 votes, a mere half million behind James (808,570).

Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets leads all NBA players with 836,392 votes, while the Lakers Kobe Bryant is second among Western Conference players with 720,375. Behind James in Eastern Conference voting is soon-to-be former Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson, with 595,200.

A total of 120 players, 60 from each Conference, are listed on the all-star ballot, including two other Raptors, guard T.J. Ford and forward Morris Peterson.

The all-star game will be held Feb.18, in Las Vegas.

TRADE RUMOURS GALORE

The basketball world was abuzz yesterday with Iverson rumours, including a possible three-way trade between Philadelphia, Portland and Denver, and would include Toronto native Jamaal Magloire.

The proposed trade, as reported in ESPN.com, would involve Nene Hilario going from the Nuggets to the Trail Blazers, who would then ship Magloire to the Sixers. The Nuggets would send another player, possibly former Sixer Joe Smith, to the Sixers, and the Sixers would direct Iverson to Denver.

Surprisingly, a number of teams in the Eastern Conference are reportedly in the running for Iverson, including the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bull and Miami Heat. The Toronto Raptors have been very quiet on the Iverson front.

Magloire has said he would love to be able to finish his career playing for his home-town Raptors.

BARGNANI HOPEFUL

Toronto rookie Andrea Bargnani said yesterday that he hopes his improved play will allow him to be selected to play in the rookie-sophomore game at this year's all-star event.


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