Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant is playing in his final season for the Los Angeles Lakers with the veteran intent on retiring after the 2015-16 season comes to an end.
After a rough start to the year and some injury problems along the way, it was uncertain whether the 37-year-old would be voted into the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. Fortunately for Bryant, the fans want him on the floor in Toronto next month with the Lakers star being the leading vote-getter.
On Wednesday, Bryant made an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio and was asked about being the leading vote-getter in the All-Star voting:
“That’s surprising,” Bryant said about leading the All-Star voting. “I’m very thankful. Very thankful for the fact that they want to see me go out and play in another All-Star game in my last year.
“The reaction and the support I’ve been getting around the league has been truly a blessing.”
In the latest tally of All-Star votes, Bryant led the way by a considerable margin. Kobe received over 1.5 million votes (as of Jan. 14) and is expected to be named an All-Star starter for the Western Conference on Thursday when the starters for both conferences are announced on TNT.
Bryant’s vote total is impressive to say the least with the seasoned veteran receiving 300,000 more votes than reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry (1.2 million) and far more than LeBron James (830,345).
The NBA All-Star Game will take place at Air Canada Centre on Feb. 14. Bryant is expected to be joined by Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green in the starting lineup for the Western Conference All-Stars.