Veterans and a star NBA duo led fan voting to start in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) All-Star Game, which will be staged on Feb 19 at the Guangzhou Sports Arena.
After the seven-week online fan vote concluded on Monday, the CBA released the starting lineups for the 2012 North vs South event.
Bayi Rockets' veteran Wang Zhizhi headed the nominees with 814,670 votes. He will start for the South team alongside national teammates Zhu Fangyu and Wang Shipeng, both from the Guangdong Southern Tigers. They will be out for revenge against the North, which stunned the South 115-114 last year.
The league's current top scorer, J.R. Smith, formerly with the Denver Nuggets, will join Wang on the South side with his Zhejiang Golden Bulls' blue-collar teammate, Ding Jinhui, who is also a national representative.
For the North, the Beijing Ducks' former NBA All-Star guard Stephon Marbury, who topped all foreign imports with 592,629 votes, will spearhead a competitive squad.
Alongside Marbury will be last season's MVP Mengke Bateer, from the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, Liaoning Jiebao guard Yang Ming and rebounder Li Xiaoxu and Tianjin Gold Lions' sharp shooter Zhang Nan.
The All-Star bench players will be picked by the sides' coaches after the regular season ends next Wednesday.
Former New York Knicks forward Wilson Chandler, who plays for the Zhejiang Lions, and ex-Houston Rocket Aaron Brooks, who represents the Southern Tigers, are strong candidates to appear at the basketball gala.
Ahead of the main battle, 3-point, slam dunk and skill challenge contests will be held on Feb 18 to entertain fans; along with a series of carnival-like activities.
This is the first time the All-Star Weekend will be held in Guangzhou and follows league promoter Infront China's announcement two years ago that it would stage the event in stadiums up to NBA standard in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou for six consecutive years.
The first two editions were held at the Beijing MasterCard Center (formerly the Wukesong Arena) in 2010 and 2011.