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Kobe Bryant thinks you should be voting younger guards into All-Star Game

Jan 6, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

kobe all-star 2013

You want Kobe Bryant to start in the All-Star Game… well, maybe not you personally, but people do. Like that guy in front of you in line at Starbucks this morning. Blame him.

Fan voting has Kobe Bryant well out in front as a starting guard for the West in the 2014 All-Star Game. Chris Paul would join him as a starter, and they both have a healthy lead over Stephen Curry, Jeremy Lin, James Harden and everyone else down the list.

Sunday night Kobe Bryant said he wasn’t sure if he would be back in time for the Feb. 16 All-Star Game in New Orleans, something reported by ESPNLosAngeles.com.

And while he’s flattered, Kobe says you really should be voting for the younger guards.

“I really enjoy watching what the younger guys are doing and how they’re performing,” said Bryant, who was second among Western Conference players in the latest round of All-Star voting, which was released on Dec. 26. “Even though there’s so much respect from me to be able to go out there and play for the fans, I’d much rather see the young guys play in the game because they’ve obviously put the work in to be in it. I’d much rather go out there and see them participate.”

Asked when he’d make a decision on whether to play in the game if he was voted in as a starter by the fans, Bryant said, “I probably won’t be able to come back soon enough to put my stamp or make my mark on the game, so my advice would be to focus on these younger players, the Damian Lillards of the world, because they’re more than deserving to be playing on that weekend.”

I’m with Kobe here — I’d rather see a lot of Curry, Harden, and Lillard. Heck, I’d rather even see more Ricky Rubio.

However, last time votes were released Kobe had 723,031, Lillard 105,880. Even Curry is about 250,000 votes behind Kobe. You guys want to see him. Kobe trailed only Kevin Durant for most votes in the West, he’s going to get voted in as a starter.

If Bryant returns to playing for the Lakers before the All-Star break, it will be interesting to see what the league says if he tries to beg out of playing in New Orleans. Their general rule is if you are healthy enough to play for your team than you can play in the All-Star Game.

The game is an exhibition — a heavily watched one and Kobe remains one of the league’s biggest stars. This isn’t a case of Vince Carter giving up a starting spot so Michael Jordan can have one last hurrah (Carter surrendered his starting spot to Jordan in Jordan’s final year), this is a very popular Kobe with only a few All-Star games ahead of him. The league will want him out there if he can go, even if it would like to showcase the up and comers too.

  1. spthegr8 - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    He is right. The All-Star voting is a JOKE!!!!

  2. nbascreed - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Curry, Lillard, Harden? Sure. Rubio? Nada. I understand the masses affinity for Rubio but he’s not an All-Star and definitely a cut below the aforementioned. Sorry Kurt.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      He’s 10 in ASG West voting so I put him in. Personally I think Parker should be in the mix but he’s not young, either.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Rubio may be the most overrated PG and a cancer to the Wolves. He’s an amazing passer but that’s about it. At the end of games, he is the reason they can’t close and seemingly lose every close game.

        He gets nervous in crunch time and can’t shoot. He’s sub 40% from the field in every season (3) he’s been in the league and a liability on the court. People don’t realize how atrocious that is for a starting NBA PG.

        He’s on the ballot and loved by fans for his flashy passes and no one can deny his elite court vision. But he’s now becoming overrated.

        No wonder Flip Saunders wants Kyle Lowry so badly.

    • bougin89 - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      The all-star game is a joke. Didn’t you try to make a bet with me last year on here that I would watch it? I haven’t watched an all star game in years and won’t this year either.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 6, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Rubio may be the most overrated PG and a cancer to the Wolves. He’s an amazing passer but that’s about it. At the end of games, he is the reason they can’t close and seemingly lose every close game.

      He gets nervous in crunch time and can’t shoot. He’s sub 40% from the field in every season (3) he’s been in the league and a liability on the court. People don’t realize how atrocious that is for a starting NBA PG.

      He’s on the ballot and loved by fans for his flashy passes and no one can deny his elite court vision. But he’s now becoming overrated.

      No wonder Flip Saunders wants Kyle Lowry so badly.

  3. buffalowned - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    There you go lakers fans. Swallow your pride and start voting for someone that deserves it or stop voting.

    • mikerome64 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      You are nuts if you think that only Laker fans are voting for Kobe. I know the haters don’t get it but he is still one of the most popular players in the league.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        Nah, it’s coming mostly from the 22 million people in Southern California.

  4. golfrangeman - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    I’m not a Kobe fan you might call me a hater. I’ll say that’s a pretty stand up thing he said. I’m a Celtic fan but only vote for players who deserve it. Which is no Celtic this year.

    • antistratfordian - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Well what’s called out here is only a portion of what he said. He also said this:

      …obviously a sensitive topic for me… there’s the other side of the argument, where you’ve put in a lot of work over the years and they vote you in, and you want to go out there and show your appreciation. I think it’s always a delicate balance.

      Kobe can never really say anything without his infamous ego spewing some sort of garbage.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        Yes, Kobe showing appreciation for his fans, so selfish.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        Yeah, that’s all that is. 9_9 (supposed to be me rolling my eyes, if you’re not familiar with that emoticon)

      • money2long - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        you must get that emoticon a lot. which is why you’re so familiar with it. hush your mouth.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:27 AM

        9_9 – no, google is why I’m so familiar with it. i wasn’t aware of an eye rolling emoticon until about 20 seconds before i posted that reply. but I think I’ll be able to find more uses for it now.

      • money2long - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        lol

  5. azarkhan - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    All-Star weekend is basically a weekend without basketball; I don’t watch any of that crap. However, if those who do watch want to see the current seasons All-Stars, then let players, coaches and GM’s vote, not idiotic fans.

  6. gameisours - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Oooh come on, Rubio, he is underperfoming. And since when are we putting two players from the same team who are in ~10th place in a playoff race. Even GSW doesn’t deserve 2 players in an allstar game.

  7. pfic15 - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    I agree Kobe. I’m tired of seeing you.

  8. csbanter - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    The NBA should follow the NFL lead and do a mix and match with its all-stars. As far as who is voted in, its not that serious. Kobe and CP3 are injured. Steph Curry and Harden will be the starters. The problem ultimately lies with how those not playing in NY, LA, Chi, or Miami are marketed. Curry should be on a building size billboard in Manhattan, ditto for Harden and Kevin Love. It’s time the NBA brand its players outside of their home markets.

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Why would the NBA want to market Steph Curry in New York? New Yorkers aren’t buying tickets to Warriors games. Should the NBA put Derrick Rose on billboards in Milwaukee and San Antonio?

      The NBA markets all players/stars in national advertisements but it makes little to no sense to market non-local players in local mediums.

      • jaerba - Jan 6, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        While for most markets you’d be right, marketing in Manhattan is about much more than reaching New York-native fans. NBA HQ is in New York, so the advertising they do there is more about promoting the league as a whole. Steph Curry & co. are the next set of stars, so it’ll be beneficial in the long run for the league to promote their image, and NY is the place to do it.

        It’s not like actual New Yorkers are the ones staring at billboards in Time Square. It’s all tourists from around the country/world.

  9. ibchuck33 - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Wasn’t it Iverson who gave up his starting spot for Jordan in his last all star game?

    • pftspellchecker - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      Yes, and Tracy McGrady. Carter didn’t want to… I thought that was off and specifically remembered Tract McGrady wanting to give up his spot for Jordan in the 2003 game;

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/2003/all_star/news/2003/02/08/jordan_decision_ap/?mobile=no

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      It was Vince Carter in 2003, giving up his spot to fellow North Carolina Tar Heel Michael Jordan.

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/2003/all_star/news/2003/02/09/jordan_carter_ap/

  10. 00maltliquor - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Can I still vote for Eduardo Najera?

    • spthegr8 - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      @Malt
      LMAO!!!! I Needed that laugh.

  11. 32magicman - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Jeremy lin getting in is just as big a joke.

  12. peddealer - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    You did not just say Jerry Lin!?!?
    Nice subtle racism…
    Next do you expect Jerry to say” Sank Yu, Sank Yu rerry much for dis honor. It is rerry rerry speciew for you to lub me so rerry much,… Sanks again”

  13. detectivejimmymcnulty - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Seriously, I’ve said it before and will again, but I love off the court Kobe. The less he plays the more I l like him. One of his last lines was about him sticking up for Pau and he said “How much more am I supposed to support a guy? Besides making a Pau flag and riding in there on a horse with Spanish-colored paint on my face, looking like a Spanish William Wallace or something? I don’t know what else to say.”

    That’s pure awesomeness.

  14. 00maltliquor - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Thank you for that jimmy mac, I now have to clean soda off my laptop.

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