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O'Neal thanked everyone, from the fans who voted for him to the folks who clean up Conseco Fieldhouse after Pacers games, for the latest honor in what is rapidly becoming a superstar career for the 25-year-old.

O'Neal won't be alone during All-Star weekend, Feb. 13-15 in Los Angeles. Rick Carlisle and his staff will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the Feb. 15 game at Staples Center.

Carlisle was an assistant coach eight years ago in Portland when a rail-thin, 17-year-old O'Neal arrived full of energy and big dreams, just weeks removed from his high school graduation in South Carolina.

"Jermaine O'Neal has come a long way since 1996 when he was drafted," Carlisle said. "He was a guy who certainly had all the tools. You could see he had the ability and was a guy that would eventually have the skill level to play at an All-Star level.

"It's been great to see his development. He's worked for everything he's gotten. He's never had anything handed to him on a silver platter. And a guy who earns it like that, you certainly have more respect for him when he gets there."

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