Kobe Bryant has started 14 All-Star games plus the last two years, when fans voted him a starter but he was too injured to play.
If fans again vote Kobe a Western Conference starter – and I’m sure they will – he’ll occupy a frontcourt spot.
Kobe has mostly played the three with the Lakers starting Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell (or Lou Williams at guard). You could argue whether that’s Kobe at small forward or a three-guard lineup, but the NBA’s stance is clear.
This will allow fans to pick two of the Western Conference’s many excellent guards – including Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Chris Paul – instead of only one to accompany a Kobe vote. But, as long as Kobe’s body holds up, a frontcourt player will be bumped to the bench. And, as has been the case the last couple years, someone else more deserving won’t be an All-Star at all.
Voting is now open, and there are approximately a million ways to make your selections:
How to vote:
- NBA.com voting page at NBA.com/vote: Fill out one full ballot per day on NBA.com/vote from a desktop or mobile browser.
- NBA App: Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day.
- Twitter: Tweet, retweet or reply with the player’s first and last name, along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE. Each Tweet may include only one player’s name. Fans can vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the All-Star voting period.
- Facebook: Use player’s first and last name along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE in a post on your personal Facebook account, or comment on another’s Facebook post. Fans can post votes for 10 unique players per day and each vote may contain only one player’s name.
- Instagram: Post an original photo, with the hashtag #NBAVOTE and the player’s first and last name in the photo caption. Fans can vote for 10 unique players per day, and each vote may contain only one player’s name.
- SMS: Text the player’s last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (“MYNBA”) on any wireless device. Fans can vote for 10 different players per day, per phone number, via SMS voting by sending 10 separate SMS messages, each one with a different player’s last name. Message and data rates may apply.
- Google Search: Search “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” (ex: NBA Vote Celtics), and use respective team cards to select players. Voters can submit one vote per player per day, with up to 10 total votes per day.
Voting will conclude on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. Starters will be announced live on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 21, during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.com at 7 p.m. ET, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith. The special will air prior to TNT’s exclusive doubleheader featuring the L.A. Clippers at the Cleveland Cavaliers (8 p.m. ET) and the San Antonio Spurs at the Phoenix Suns (10:30 p.m. ET).
Other balloting updates will be shared:
- Friday, Dec. 25
- Thursday, Jan. 7
- Thursday, Jan. 14