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Yao edges Shaq in closest race

Updated: February 4, 2004, 10:26 AM ET
ESPN.com new services

NEW YORK -- For the second straight year, basketball fans around the world have let it be known that Yao is now.

Yao Ming overtook Shaquille O'Neal in the final balloting and will be the starting center for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game for the second straight year.

The undeniable popularity of the 7-foot-5 Yao has been proven in All-Star balloting over the last two years as he has received more votes than the sport's biggest star, relegating O'Neal to reserve status ...

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