Kobe Bryant would enjoy All-Star nod but isn’t fretting over it
Kobe Bryant has been named an NBA All-Star 17 times and being named an 18th time would be a fitting tribute as he navigates his season-long swan song.
While Los Angeles Lakers superstar acknowledged he would be flattered by receiving an All-Star nod, he also said he’s not fretting over it, either.
“I mean it would be great to play in it. If I’m not in it, I’m not going to beat myself up over that either,” Bryant said Wednesday after practice, via ESPN. “I’ll support the game no matter what. Support the players no matter what.”
“It would be great, but at the same time I’ve played in a lot of them, so it’s always great to have the younger guys step up and get their opportunities as well,” he continued. “I’ve played in quite a few. If I’m fortunate to be there, I’ll be extremely grateful for that. If I’m not, at the same token, I’ll be extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had.”
Interestingly, Bryan for the first time in his career 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 was named a Western Conference All-Star the aforementioned 17 times.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver threw his support behind Bryant receiving one last chance to bask in the All-Star Weekend glow, saying, “I think he deserves to be there.”
But Bryant’s numbers this season arguably are not All-Star worthy. He is averaging 16.5 points per game, shooting 33 percent from the field and 24.4 percent from three-point range while jacking up 17.1 shots.
Still, Bryant could be voted in by the fans or selected after the fact by the coaches.
This season’s All-Star game is scheduled for Feb. 14 in Toronto. Voting concludes on Jan. 18. Fans will select the five starters for each conference with seven reserves for each conference being named later.