Kobe Bryant urges fans to not vote him for the All-Star Game
Kobe Bryant knows how to draw the media and the fan attention even when he is not appearing in an NBA game. Just recently, the Black Mamba stated that fans around the league shouldn’t vote for him as an All-Star but should instead choose to vote for Portland Trail Blazers’ youngster point guard Damian Lillard. Of course, this statement in a way shocked the fans around the league but it shouldn’t sound that weird in the fans’ ears, right?
Of course, Kobe Bryant is one of the biggest superstars currently active in the league. He is one of the most recognizable and successful professional athletes in the world and one of the best players to ever pass from the courts of the NBA. Nonetheless, this season he hasn’t managed to be the player he used to be. And since NBA fans are voting for the 2014 NBA All-Stars, it only make sense to prefer Lillard to the 35-year Kobe. Of course, Bryant is still one of the top three shooting guards in the NBA when he is healthy. Only this season, he is note.
Mamba played just six games during the 2013-2014 campaign. He missed the first part of the season rehabbing from the Achilles injury. As he was starting to get his rhythm back, he went down with another injury. This season, he averages 13.8 points per contest to go along with 6.3 dimes and 4.3 boards. But he also had 5.7 turnovers per game. Those numbers clearly don’t reflect to an All-Star.
The fact is that Kobe will most probably be back before the All-Star Game, which takes place on February 16. However, his suggestion that fans should give younger stars a chance makes perfect sense.
Certainly, Bryant will be present during the All-Star Game this year as long as he is healthy. In a way, it is difficult for most NBA fans to imagine an All-Star game without him. But on the other hand, emerging stars like Damian Lillard be rewarded for what they are offering to the league and to their teams this season.
Lillard has played 36 games up to now in the season and he averages 21.6 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds. He is shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from downtown. It’s obvious that he is producing way more than what Kobe does.
Nonetheless, NBA fans voted and will continue to vote stars for the All-Star Game. According to the latest result, Kobe led the backcourt of the Western All-Stars in votes. Of course, this is not the first time we see fans voting a player based on his name and fame rather than his production. A few seasons ago, voted for Yao Ming, who was out for the season, placing him at the starting lineup of the Western All-Stars.
Kobe certainly gave NBA fans a message, when he urged them to vote for Damian Lillard. However, it will be almost certain that the Black Mamba will still lead the balloting. Fans want to see stars in the All-Star game. The bigger the star, the more the chance he gets preferred.