nba

Kobe Bryant Set for All-Star Swansong, Draymond Green Snubbed

Updated: 22 January 2016 11:43 IST

Kobe Bryant, the five-time NBA champion who has announced he will retire this year after the conclusion of his 20th season, had paced fan voting for All-Star starters for weeks, despite his own on-court struggles and those of the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant Set for All-Star Swansong, Draymond Green Snubbed
Kobe Bryant will retire fro m professional basketball at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season. © AP

Los Angeles:

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant gained the 18th All-Star nod of his career on Thursday as the starters for the NBA mid-season showcase were announced.(Bryant Won't Play in Rio Olympics)

Bryant, the five-time NBA champion who has announced he will retire this year after the conclusion of his 20th season, had paced fan voting for All-Star starters for weeks, despite his own on-court struggles and those of the Lakers.

Bryant topped all vote-getters with 1,891,614, and will start alongside Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard in the Western Conference front court, with Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry -- the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player -- and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook rounding out the West starting lineup.

Leonard is a first-time All-Star, overtaking Golden State's Draymond Green in the closing weeks of fan voting for the exhibition that will be held on February 14 in Toronto.

Bryant's 18th selection to the All-Star game is the second-most ever behind the 19 of fellow Lakers icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, injuries have sidelined him from some All-Star Games for which he was selected. He missed the last two because of injury.

But as interim returns were released Bryant expressed surprise that he was leading in the balloting, as he is shooting just 34.5 percent from the field this season and the 9-35 Lakers are last in the Western Conference.

In the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, Indiana's Paul George and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks make up the front court, with the back court starting spots going to Miami veteran Dwyane Wade and Toronto's Kyle Lowry.

Anthony, Durant and George are off to strong starts this season after missing significant time last season because of injuries.

Durant, the top vote-getter in 2014 was relegated to a reserve role in last year's All-Star Game. Anthony started the contest but had season-ending knee surgery shortly thereafter, while George missed most of last season recovering from a broken leg.

Anthony edged Chicago's Pau Gasol -- a starter last year -- by just 360 votes for the final starting spot in the East front court.

The All-Star reserves will be named on January 28.

Comments
Topics mentioned in this article Kobe Bryant NBA
Related Articles
Shikhar Dhawan Shares Pictures With Hospital Staff, Hardik Pandya Wins Over Internet With Witty Reply
Shikhar Dhawan Shares Pictures With Hospital Staff, Hardik Pandya Wins Over Internet With Witty Reply
TNCA Enters Into New Lease For MA Chidambaram Stadium, To Push For Opening Of Closed Stands
TNCA Enters Into New Lease For MA Chidambaram Stadium, To Push For Opening Of Closed Stands
Hope Sourav Ganguly Is "Five Times More Successful" BCCI Chief Than Me, Says Sunil Gavaskar
Hope Sourav Ganguly Is "Five Times More Successful" BCCI Chief Than Me, Says Sunil Gavaskar
"Look Forward To 5 Days": Sourav Ganguly Shares Video Ahead Of Historic Day-Night Test
"Look Forward To 5 Days": Sourav Ganguly Shares Video Ahead Of Historic Day-Night Test
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Nitish Rana Stars As Delhi Register Emphatic Win Over Maharashtra
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Nitish Rana Stars As Delhi Register Emphatic Win Over Maharashtra
Advertisement