The night before the 10-year anniversary of his 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors, it was announced that Kobe Bryant would be a starter next month in Toronto at his final All-Star game. The Black Mamba led all players 1,891,614 votes in what will be his 18th and final NBA All-Star game. Here is the complete rundown of starters for both the Eastern and Western conferences who will be joining Kobe on the hardwood.
Western Conference starters:
Kobe Bryant, Frontcourt
His name (and reputation) precedes him. It’s Kobe [expletive] Bryant in his last All-Star game. Earlier this year NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made it clear that Kobe deserved to be at the ASG one last time and the fans made it happen. Kobe’s farewell season hasn’t been about his stats, but it has been about appreciating one of the league’s most dominant forces (and media narratives) since the mid 1990s. Kobe and fans alike should sit back and soak it in.
Kevin Durant, Frontcourt
Currently third in the league in points per game while also rolling with top 30ish ranks in both assists and rebounds.Durant has been his electric old self this season after coming off of several foot surgeries to help repair his fairly serious metatarsal injury, and has completely earned this deserved 7th all-star nod.
Kawhi Leonard, Frontcourt
Earning his first all-star nod, Leonard is the only San Antonio Spur represented, not good or bad, but slightly strange for the team with the second best record in the league. Largely playing in the shadow of Steph Curry’s incredible season thus far, Leonard, in any other year, would be garnering serious MVP consideration. It’s a testament to Steph’s season that he’s not more in the conversation, but the ASG nod is a decent amount of dap from the non-hoops obsessed fan set.
Steph Curry, Backcourt
The reigning league MVP has picked up this season right where he left off last season: taking absurd shots, nailing them and showing no regard for human life. His scorching eFG% of 63.1% is downright ridiculous and Curry’s assist rate is top twenty and his usage rate is top three. Nobody is doing what he’s doing offensively right now. Nobody. If that weren’t enough, Steph has heard the #haterz mentioning his fear of dunking and has begun throwing down the hammer recently as well, see evidence A:
— NBA (@NBA) January 15, 2016
Russel Westbrook, Backcourt
Speaking of dunks, Curry’s backcourt teammate on the roster is none other than the hater o’ rims himself, Russell Westbrook.