Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was named to his 17th NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, same day his club announced he had a torn rotator cuff.
Bryant garnered one of the Western Conference starting guard spots over league-leading scorer James Harden.
But before the voting results were announced the Lakers had revealed the veteran had suffered a torn rotator cuff in Wednesday night’s game, making it unlikely he will be able to play in the February 15 mid-season showcase at Madison Square Garden.
Bryant received 1,152,402 votes — 83,034 more than Harden.
Bryant was also a surprise pick for the Western Conference team last year because of injuries and was eventually replaced by Harden.
The other starting guard for the West is Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who overcame LeBron James over the past week to earn the most overall votes with 1.51 million to James’ 1.47 million in global fan voting.
Besides having a new top overall vote getter, this season’s event will feature a number of first-time starters, including New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Grizzlies centre Marc Gasol make up the West’s frontcourt.
New York forward Carmelo Anthony and Chicago big man Pau Gasol will join James in the frontcourt for the Eastern Conference, while Washington point guard John Wall and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry comprise the backcourt.
Lowry vaulted past Miami’s Dwyane Wade for the final guard spot.
The selection of Marc and Pau Gasol mark the first time that two brothers will start and NBA All-Star Game. Brothers Tom and Dick Van Arsdale both played in the 1970 and 1971 games, but they weren’t both starters.
Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer and Golden State’s Steve Kerr will be the head coaches for the game. The head coaches will select their reserves, to be announced on January 29. – Agence France-Presse