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Shaquille O'Neal should be an All-Star

January 10, 2009 |  4:53 pm

Shaq_300There could be a surprise showing at the NBA All-Star game on Feb. 15.

Then again, maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise.

But Shaquille O'Neal's recent play for the Phoenix Suns should earn him a spot on the All-Star team.

O'Neal probably won't be voted onto the Western Conference squad. That'll go to Houston's Yao Ming. But the West coaches that select the reserves will have to consider O'Neal as a backup center.

O'Neal has three things working for him.

He has put up good numbers this season -- 17.4 points, nine rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 59.18% shooting.

He has name recognition.

The game will be played in the Big Cactus' hometown.

If the former Lakers center is chosen, it would be his 12th time making the All-Star team.

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Suns center Shaquille O'Neal powers his way past Mavericks center Erick Dampier for a layup Friday night, when he finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Credit: Paul Connors / Associated Press