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Kobe Bryant named a starter on the NBA All-Star team

In his 13th All-Star selection, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will start for the Western Conference team Feb. 20 at Staples Center after compiling around 2.4 million votes. It will be his 12th All-Star appearance, after he missed last year's game because of a sprained left ankle.

"He's deserving," TNT analyst Kenny Smith said of Bryant, averaging 24.9 points a game on 46% shooting in 33 minutes this season. "You win a championship two years. You're the car that really gets everybody going. You're the premier person and you should be voted first."

It'll be interesting to see how many minutes Bryant plays in the game, considering he's constantly aware of monitoring his health. Bryant sat out of Thursday's practice after the team had the day off Wednesday.

"I'll refrain from saying something really...," Bryant said after practice Thursday at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo.

New Orleans guard Chris Paul, Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant and Denver's Carmelo Anthony will join Bryant as the West starters. As far as who will start at center, that's a bit dicey. With Houston center Yao Ming being the leading vote-getter among Western Conference centers (928,928) despite having season-ending surgery on a stress fracture on his left ankle, NBA Commissioner David Stern will choose the starting position.

The chances for Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who ranked second in votes (660,576), aren't necessarily high considering he missed the first 24 games this season while recovering from off-season surgery on his right knee, a point Bynum himself believed will lead to a missed appearance.

Though Stern will select the replacement next Thursday after the reserves are announced, it's up to San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich to decide who will start.

The Eastern Conference starters are Miami's Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, Chicago's Derrick Rose, New York's Amare Stoudemire and Orlando's Dwight Howard.

As for the reserves, coaches vote for a center, two forwards, two guards and two other players at any position in each conference, making it possible Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom could crack a spot. But they're competing with a crowded forward position, including Minnesota's Kevin Love, San Antonio's Tim Duncan, the Clippers' Blake Griffin and Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
Comments () | Archives (13)

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I really do not care about the All-Star game but it really irks me the extent that some supposedly loyal Lakers fans go to justify why Drew should NOT be selected for the All-Star Game.

Posted by: LakerTom | January 27, 2011 at 02:41 PM
=====

LT

This was worth re-posting because you are absolutely correct! Comments like this ... "I'm definitely capable of being there," Bynum said. "But I just have to be a little bit more consistent and stay healthy longer" ..... should be reserved for ANDREW to make, NOT Lakers fans. Let me correct that. Fans are certainly entitled to their opinions, but how does it speak of them in terms of being loyal "fans" of the Lakers when they are utterly incapable of getting behind one of their own players who is even in this discussion, especially after Bynum played with the same injury that sidelined the great Tim Duncan in the 2000 playoffs because he KNEW his teammates needed him to win the championship? I'm not saying that had anything to do with all-star recognition; I'm saying it has to do with fan loyalty. These Lakers fans of whom you speak jump on any opportunity to massage their anti-Bynum attitudes, when they simply could have stayed silent on this ridiculous non-issue. But hey, these folks are entitled to be Lakers fans without being Bynum fans (or Fisher fans, Gasol fans, Phil Jackson fans, etc, etc, etc).

The unfortunate part is that rather than leave well enough alone, they JUMPED all over you as soon as MM posted Bynum's comments. They rejoiced in slapping you in the face because Andrew himself said he doesn't deserve it. So LakerTom, hold your head high while these naysayers pat themselves on the back. I hope they feel good about themselves.

KobeMVP, like I said in my previous post, I don't want to make a big argument about this.

I was called unappreciative, disloyal, and was accused of advocating a trade of Bynum for Jefferson or Nene just because I can understand the argument against Bynum being an allstar this year. So when Andrew essentially made the exact same innocent comments that I made, YES I pointed that out.

I don't want to slam LakerTom, it's good to be supportive. But I can also see that while a Laker fan can rationalize Bynum as a slamdunk allstar selection, it does not make it the rational choice for all involved. If a Jazz fan says Jefferson has been putting up the same numbers and has done it all year instead of half the time, they have a point. If a Lakers fan wants Gasol starting the game because his numbers at center are better than anyone in the discussion, they have a point.

All I know is that L.O. better be selected as a reserve!!! If not, then I boycott the whole darn weekend!

Congrats to Kobe Bean, you deserve it!

@LRob
Thanks for the Jerry West link. He is my second favorite Laker of all time, behind Magic. I love how he had no idea that his remarks regarding the Laker's poor defense would ignite such a big stink. He is one of the few that has every single right to make any judgements about past, present, or future Laker squads.

Bay to LA,

stop this. Stop right now.

You are not allowed to be rational when it comes to Bynum and this Blog.

It's just not kosher.

Bay to LA

LakerTom was raising the very simple point that certain Lakers fans go out of their way to justify why Bynum DOESN'T deserve the all-star recognition. Frankly, I could case less whether Bynum gets selected or not, but the *fact* is that since Bynum's return to the starting lineup, his effect on the defending two time champs' success is indisputable. So why shouldn't Tom speak out when his supposed Lakers brethren go out of their way to justify AGAINST his selection?

The best argument against his selection is the one that few are making, but that you alluded to: Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol are legitimate perennial all-stars who also play center. As for Nene, Jefferson, Chandler, Okafor, whomever ... meh, meh, meh and more meh! ANY Lakers fan knows for a *fact* that Andrew Bynum is head and shoulders at his position above those guys and any other center in the Western Conference regardless of the "numbers." That is called basic Lakers fan common sense if you watch Bynum play day in and day out against these lesser players.

So that is what LEGITIMATELY irks LakerTom. He thinks you should let the fans from teams who root for these inferior centers make the case for them and he's ashamed to be associated with Lakers fans who should know better. Can you blame him?

Mark Medina,

Could you do me a favor and erase the above post... which is clearly not me.

This clown has been at this for a while.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

All I can say is who cares. The All Star game is just a popularity contest and is not based on talent In actual reality, the game means absolutely nothing other than a party atmosphere for the players and a risk of injury in the NBA's version of an exhibition game for profit. You think Stern really cares about the players or their welfare if it is not profiting him?

"Bay to LA

LakerTom was raising the very simple point that certain Lakers fans go out of their way to justify why Bynum DOESN'T deserve the all-star recognition. Frankly, I could case less whether Bynum gets selected or not, but the *fact* is that since Bynum's return to the starting lineup, his effect on the defending two time champs' success is indisputable. So why shouldn't Tom speak out when his supposed Lakers brethren go out of their way to justify AGAINST his selection?

The best argument against his selection is the one that few are making, but that you alluded to: Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol are legitimate perennial all-stars who also play center. As for Nene, Jefferson, Chandler, Okafor, whomever ... meh, meh, meh and more meh! ANY Lakers fan knows for a *fact* that Andrew Bynum is head and shoulders at his position above those guys and any other center in the Western Conference regardless of the "numbers." That is called basic Lakers fan common sense if you watch Bynum play day in and day out against these lesser players.

So that is what LEGITIMATELY irks LakerTom. He thinks you should let the fans from teams who root for these inferior centers make the case for them and he's ashamed to be associated with Lakers fans who should know better. Can you blame him?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 27, 2011 at 05:52 PM"

I wasn't going out of my way to say Bynum wasn't an all-star and didn't see anyone else doing it either. I'm just saying he's not a slamdunk choice and that Stern leaving Bynum off doesn't necessarily show a lack of integrity. No matter what Stern does, a very good choice is going to be left out. In fact, 4 or 5 very good choices will be left out.

If the rules should be changed to where the replacement is the next leading vote-getter in a category, maybe that is something that can be looked into. However, I historically see most of the problem lying with the voters having TOO MUCH control (i.e. Yao Ming winning the vote) rather than not having enough control.


We all knew Kobe would be an all-star; let's just hope Pau,'Drew and LO will join the Black Mamba on February 17th, 2011 in Los Angeles California!

February 20th *

And further more...

Bynum didn't just git some piddly number of votes to get the second most in the West Center race. He got 660 thousand votes.

That's the 9th most votes of ANY player in the west (and only 3,000 behind Tim Duncan's votes).

It's good enough for 15th most votes of ANY PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE.

There are 12 players on an All-Star team. Bynum got the 9th most votes in the West (8th most of guys who are actually able to play). And he got almost twice as many votes as the next closest center.

Bynum got more votes than Shaquille O'Neal. He got more votes than Dirk Nowitzki. He got more votes than Manu Ginobili or Steve Nash or Deron Williams or Russell Westbrook. He got more votes than Andrew Bogut, Al Horford, and Roy Hibbert COMBINED!!!

The public (and not just Los Angeles, as I kinda proved in the previous post) wants to see Andrew Bynum in the All-Star game.

It's not like Nene doesn't get any press. He was a key part of the team that played the Lakers hard two years ago in the playoffs. The whole nation saw Bynum & Nene duke it out in that series, and now they want to see more of Bynum, not Nene (or Tyson Chandler for that matter)

Bynum deserves All Star status!! All arguments in and Drew needs to be starter at Center.


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