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LeBron, Curry, Kobe voted All-Star Game starters — but Kobe doesn’t want to play

Jan 23, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT

NBA All-Star Bryant of the Lakers and All-Star Anthony of the Knicks laugh during the NBA All-Star basketball game in Houston Reuters

You voted for them, so here they are — your 2014 NBA All-Star Game starters:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Backcourt: Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Frontcourt: LeBron James (Miami Heat), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Backcourt: Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Frontcourt: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)

When the votes were last released Love was more than 26,000 votes behind ofDwight Howard and 18,000 back of Griffin, but somehow Howard just dropped off the map.

To that, I say well done fans — it’s not that Howard has been bad, but Love has been better. Love deserved this starting nod. More than that, the removal of Howard could free up a frontcourt reserve spot (voted on by the coaches and announced next week) for DeMarcus Cousins and/or Anthony Davis (as well as LaMarcus Aldridge), both of whom have been more deserving based on their play the first half of the season. Although most likely the coaches will pick Howard.

Kobe’s play the first half of the season didn’t earn him a spot —  he’s been in six games between his Achilles and knee injuries — and while the fans voted him in reaction was he didn’t want to go.

Kobe had asked fans to vote for younger players such as Damian Lillard. Curry, with  1,047,281 votes, got more than Kobe (988,884).

If Kobe is healthy enough to play for the Lakers prior to the All-Star Game he would have to get a special waiver from the NBA to skip the All-Star game, and that’s not likely. Not impossible, but this is a showcase event for the league and they want to give the fans what they want. And they want Kobe. That said, if he is out it could free up a spot for someone such as Goran Dragic or Mike Conley, who have played very well the first half of the season and deserve recognition  (Damian Lillard is a lock to be chosen by the coaches as a reserve, along with Chris Paul).

Fan votes determine the All-Star Game starters LeBron was the top vote getter with 1,416,419 votes, followed closely by Durant with 1,396,294 votes.

We got four first time starters this year.  Curry went from the guy snubbed last year to a starter, getting more votes than Chris Paul and vault into a starter’s spot. Love’s late charge makes him a first time starter. Out east, Paul George and Kyrie Irving will get the start.

Errors? There were a couple in my book. We discussed Kobe, he would not have had my vote. I would argue you could start John Wall over Irving, or LaMarcus Aldridge over Griffin, but at least all the guys who got the fan votes are playing well there. 

Now the voting switches to the coaches (or, more accurately, whomever the coaches delegate the task to) to pick the reserves. Those will be announced.

The All-Star Game is Sunday Feb. 16 in New Orleans — be ready for lots of Pierre the Pelican in your grill. The Friday before is the Rising Stars challenge, then on Saturday comes the Dunk Contest, Skills Contest and the rest of that fun.

  1. losanginsight - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Looks like the lights aren’t bright for the team in H town.

  2. rabbi187 - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Wade, Carmelo, Griffin, Kobe? About time the NBA takes the vote away from the fans bc this is pathetic.

  3. knicksmets - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Nice to see he doesn’t want to play and let more deserving guys play, looks like he isn’t that bad of a person.

  4. gameisours - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    That’s a matured move-

    • antistratfordian - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:05 PM

      Well it’s his only move really, if he wants to maintain whatever level of respectability he has left.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:22 AM

        Seriously anti, what did Kobe do to you personally?? Did he bang your wife (I ask that respectfully and in all seriousness)? What gives?? It’s every time with you, give it a rest.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        Mad?

      • no14mike - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        Baha, I “ask this out of respect” is someone “banging your wife?”

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        @ anti

        Mad, nah. Just having fun with you bro. But seriously……….?

      • antistratfordian - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        Yeah, real fun. You still seem mad.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        LOL!

  5. philyeagles5 - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Players should to qualify for votes. Dumb he could be even voted for.

    • antistratfordian - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:05 PM

      Great idea.

  6. dinofrank60 - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    But you know the NBA is capable of making Kobe and DWade play. They think everybody wants to see them play, even though they are not at their best. If they do, they’ll justify it by the fan votes.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      If either of those guys aggravates a known physical problem because he’s forced to play, the justification of fan votes would sound pretty pathetic.

  7. biscuitmix - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    I agree with the qualifying comment. Players should have to play a certain percentage of their team’s games to even be put on the ballot. If the player is injured, they should be removed from the ballot, and the next highest voted player be put in his place.

  8. asimonetti88 - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Kobe is the man, but he should sit and not risk Dwayne Wade trying to hurt him

  9. bjornreyes - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Here’s who I voted for:
    (who I wanted to play, not who I thought were deserving)

    East:
    Horford
    Allen
    Chalmers
    Bosh
    James
    (I am a Heat bandwagoner, so there you go)

    West:
    Aldridge
    Love
    Dirk
    Curry
    Lin
    (I am one of those Asian fans who voted for Lin)

    • abchome - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      I’m embarrassed (I’m Asian).

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      you should have voted for Juwan Howard

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      It’s all good, I’m Mexican and I voted multiple times for Gustavo Ayon! Yeah I know it’s wrong but outside of his friends and family I’m probably the only one in America to cast a vote for him so it does no harm. lol

  10. velocirep - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Lol, that pic of Kobe and Melo is suspect. Stop it PBT, you know what you’re doing

    • money2long - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      posing for a pic, like melo is pregnant with kobe’s child, kobe’s hand on melo’s stomach like, “it’s a girl.”

  11. woodrree7 - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    No freakin way should Kobe Bryant be an all star this season. He’s not the player he used to be he’s just an average aging player. That why STUPID fans should not vote!

  12. mauldawg - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    Kobe needs to shut his mouth and move on. Never been a team player. Always a me first player. The sooner he retires the better off the NBA will be. All he does now is cry and draw attention to himself. He cant do it on the court so he does it with his mouth. Kobe,just shut up and move on.

  13. billtetley53 - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Malt, wr could basically ask the same thing of you lakers fans. Are you related to Kobe? The way you guys so ardently defend him, you must be.

    How do you justify defending a piece of trash human being? He’s morally bankrupt, yet he’s your hero?

    Top 15 player ever, Top 3 Turd in the NBA ever.

    • money2long - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      smush ?

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      Yes, Kobe is family. LAKERS family.

      And he’s not my hero. You know what a hero is? Not someone who plays freakin’ basketball! lol

      And how is Kobe a trash human being? Seriously? Because he’s cocky and confident? How much did you hate on Jordan when HE was playing?

  14. billtetley53 - Jan 24, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    He’s morall bankrupt Malt. Colorado rim any bells? If you think that’s the 1st time he cheated in his wife, I got a bridge to sell you.
    He’s a Turd of a human being, plain and simple.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      Ohh c’mooon bill! I’ve got a newsflash brotha, most of these guys, including your favorite players and players from the team you root for cheat on their wifes! I’m not saying that it’s right but it happens.

      Like I said, MJ cheated on his wife too, how much did you hate on him? Because it’s not fair that you go in as hard as you do on Kobe but not let other players catch your wrath, especially if infidelity is so horrible to you, you know what I’m saying?!

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