It matters little to the fans that Kobe Bryant has played just six games this season. On Thursday, final voting for the All-Star game was released, and Bryant was named as a starter for the Western Conference.
However, despite being voted in, Bryant has already shot down the idea of playing in the game.
It’s a belief that Bryant has had for a while now, first vocalized after his knee injury, when he told fans not to vote for him. Clearly, they didn’t listen, but Bryant’s stance won’t change. NBA regulations are against Bryant on this one, as any player who plays before the All-Star break must play in the game itself.
It’s Bryant’s 16th time being named an All-Star, all consecutive, which is an addition to his NBA record. The all-time record for selections is held by a former Laker, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who made 19 appearances in the exhibition game. Bryant is four-time MVP of the event, with the most recent in 2011. Bryant also holds the records for all-time points and field goals in the game’s history.
For those hoping for a speedy return for Bryant, those hopes were also dashed as Bryant talked to reporters prior to the team’s game in Miami.
Bryant, as well as teammate Steve Nash, is expected to return prior to the All-Star break. However, Bryant is in no rush, as was the case with his Achilles rehab. Lakers fan will have to remain patient with Bryant.