Houston Rockets center Yao Ming of China has received a record total of nearly 2.56 million votes for the 54th National Basketball Association All-Star Game in Denver.

Helped by the ability of fans to cast votes on the NBA's multi-lingual website, Yao's total beat Michael Jordan's 1997 mark by about 107,000 votes when he was with the Chicago Bulls.

Yao's selection at the Western Conference center sets up a showdown with Miami's Shaquille O'Neal, who had the most votes in the Eastern Conference at 2.49 million. 

Yao was voted a starter for the third time in as many NBA seasons despite modest statistics this season of 18.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.  In his last two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, O'Neal had been beaten out by Yao as the starter.

Joining O'Neal on the East starting five will be LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Vince Carter of the New Jersey Nets, Orlando's Grant Hill and Philadelphia's Allen Iverson.
The other West starters are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston's Tracy McGrady, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett and San Antonio's Tim Duncan.

Some information provided by AP and AFP.