If fans had their way, Kobe Bryant would be an All Star this year. This even though he has averaged 13.8 points per game in six appearances. Bryant is not quite Kobe Bryant coming off the ruptured Achilles.
And even he recognizes that now as he sits out with an injury.
The fans have not and Bryant will be listed as a starter in the 2014 All Star Game in New Orleans this February if voting holds up, which it appears it should with Bryant having a nearly 200,000 vote lead over second place Chris Paul. So maybe it is time to listen to the man himself.
The 15-time All Star and 14-time starter in the All Star Game is asking his fans NOT to vote for him, in a rare move of selflessness from the Black Mamba.
Even though there's so much respect that comes from me to be able to play for the fans, I'd much rather see the young guys go out there and play in the game. They've obviously put the work in to be there that weekend, so I'd much rather see them go in there and participate.
Bryant may not even be healthy in time to participate in All-Star Weekend festivities, so his spot might get taken by one of those young guards anyway.
There is quite the logjam in the backcourt for the Western All-Star team. With Bryant taking up a spot, that leaves Chris Paul, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry and Tony Parker to divy up any remaining spots. There could be as many as five or as few as three. Bryant taking up a spot could mean some young player misses his chance to play in New Orleans with the league's best.
Bryant is still making his way back from his fracture in his leg. There is no immediate timetable for his return to the court. The fans will just have to live with that disappointment in New Orleans.