Fans overwhelmingly chose Bryant to be an All-Star starter, voting for him almost 1.9 million times, the most among all players. Bryant will start alongside Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Thunder swingman Kevin Durant and San Antonio Spurs wing Kawhi Leonard.
“It’ll be a special All-Star because this is Kobe’s last run,” Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heatsaid.
Durant and Westbrook are All-Stars together for the fifth time, breaking a tie with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp for most appearances by Thunder/SuperSonics teammates. Durant has scored more than 30 points in four straight All-Star Games, and Westbrook was MVP of the 2015 game.
Curry, the reigning NBA MVP, was second among fans with 1.6 million votes. Curry’s father, Dell, finished his career in Toronto, and the league’s leading scorer will make his third straight All-Star start there.
“It’s going to be a fun experience for both sides of my family,” Curry said in a video posted by the Warriors. “I lived there for three years, my wife is from there, she has a lot of family that still is up there that’s going to be able to celebrate with us. So I’m going to enjoy it and look forward to it.”
The Eastern Conference starters are Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and Wade. James was the top fan choice for the East team with 1.1 million votes.
EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS
WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS