Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bryant gets record 15th straight All Star nod

PHOTO | ROBYN BECK The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant gestures after scoring a basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during an NBA basketball game at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on January 15, 2013. The Lakers defeated the Bucks 104-88.

PHOTO | ROBYN BECK The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant gestures after scoring a basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during an NBA basketball game at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on January 15, 2013. The Lakers defeated the Bucks 104-88.  AFP

By AFP

NEW YORK

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant led all players in votes in earning a record 15th successive NBA All-Star selection, the NBA said Thursday.

The league announced the starters for the 2013 mid-season exhibition and said Bryant received 1,591,437 votes to edge Miami's LeBron James (1,583,646) as the top vote-getter.

Bryant had been tied with Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal for the most consecutive All-Star nods.

The Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul will be Bryant's partner at the guard position in the Western Conference starting lineup. Paul, with 929,155 votes, beat out Houston's Jeremy Lin (883,809) for the spot.

Paul's teammate Blake Griffin, the Lakers' Dwight Howard and Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant -- the reigning All-Star Game Most Valuable Player -- round out the West's frontcourt.

In addition to James, the Eastern Conference's frontcourt features New York's Carmelo Anthony and Boston's Kevin Garnett. The guards are Miami's Dwyane Wade and the Celtics' Rajon Rondo.

The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played in Houston on Sunday, February 17.

The starting lineups were determined by global fan voting. This year in a new twist fans were able to vote via social networks including Facebook and Twitter, and Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ in China.

The reserves will be selected by polling of the 30 NBA head coaches, who must vote for seven players within their conference and can't vote for players on their own teams.

The reserves will be announced on January 24.

The East and West All-Star coaches will be determined by the best record in the conferences through February 3.