Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was named an All-Star starter for the Western Conference on Thursday with the veteran being the leading vote-getter ahead of fellow stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Bryant received 1,891,614 votes which is considerably more than Curry at 1,604,325.
With the Lakers yet to crack 10 wins and Bryant struggling in his final NBA season, there’s been some debate about whether the five-time NBA champion is deserving of being an All-Star starter.
Kevin Durant, fellow All-Star starter in the West, believes there’s no question that Kobe deserves to start via Erik Horne of The Oklahoman:
Kevin Durant today on Kobe Bryant as an All-Star starter: "He's a legend. He's our heir to MJ, and he definitely deserved to be in there."
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) January 22, 2016
The NBA All-Star Game will be held in Toronto at Air Canada Centre on Feb. 14 with Bryant set to play in the annual event for the 18th time. Kobe currently holds the record for All-Star Game MVPs with four which is one more than NBA legend, Michael Jordan. Bryant also has the most points (280) and steals (37) in All-Star Game history.
Kobe will be joined by Durant, Curry, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard in the starting lineup for the Western Conference All-Stars. LeBron will lead the way for the Eastern Conference All-Stars playing alongside with Dwyane Wade, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Lowry. James was the only player in the East to receive a million votes or more at 1.1 million.