Sportress of Blogitude

Adam Silver: Kobe Bryant deserves 2016 All-Star Game nod


Count NBA commissioner Adam Silver among those who believe that Kobe Bryant deserves a spot in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.

“I hope to see him there,” said Silver on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Thursday, via The Los Angeles Times. “I think he deserves to be there.”

While Bryant arguably deserves to be at this season’s All-Star game, scheduled for Feb. 14 in Toronto, as a way to properly pay tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s stellar 20-year career, his statistics this season clearly say otherwise.

Bryant is averaging 15.9 points per game, shooting 30.9 percent from the field and 22.3 percent from three-point range while jacking up 17.5 shots in the midst of the Lakers’ rebuilding effort.

Still, Silver insists Bryant has earned the right to receive the nod.

“He’s going to retire as one of the NBA’s greatest players,” he said. “We’ll see what the fans and the coaches decide, and then we’ll go from there.”

Adding another layer of interest to Bryant’s potentially being named to the Western Conference All-Star Team is that for the first time in his career, he is listed on the ballot as a frontcourt player — he moved to forward this season to allow young backcourt players to develop — instead of guard, the position where he has been named to the All-Star team 17 times.

Voting concludes on Jan. 18. Fans will select the five starters for each conference with the All-Star team coaches selecting seven reserves for each conference.