Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is an All-Star for the 18th time, and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is notably not among the West’s starting five.
Fans overwhelmingly chose Bryant to be an All-Star starter, voting for him almost 1.9 million times, the most among all players. Bryant will start alongside Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Thunder swingman Kevin Durant and San Antonio Spurs wing Kawhi Leonard.
Durant and Westbrook are All-Stars together for the fifth time, breaking a tie with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp for most appearances by Thunder/SuperSonics teammates. Durant has scored more than 30 points in four straight All-Star Games, and Westbrook was MVP of the 2015 game.
Curry, the reigning NBA MVP, was second among fans with 1.6 million votes.
The Eastern Conference starters are Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. James was the top fan choice for the East team with 1.1 million votes.
Anthony edged the Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol by 360 votes, 567,348 to 566,988, for the final frontcourt spot in the East. Lowry overcame a 32,000-vote deficit to Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving in the last update to claim the second backcourt spot and the right to start on his home court in Toronto.
Dallas Mavericks center Zaza Pachulia was also ahead of Green in voting for the West frontcourt. Clippers point guard Chris Paul trailed Curry and Westbrook in the West backcourt.
Green has been a linchpin of the Warriors’ NBA-best 39-4 start, averaging 14.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game.
Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said Green’s success this season is a reflection of “what hard work does for somebody.”
“He 100 percent deserves to be an All-Star this year,” Walton said earlier this month, according to the Bay Area News Group. “He does everything right, anything you want out of a player. He plays hard every night. He’s skilled. He passes. He shoots. He dribbles. He sacrifices for the team.”
All-Star Game reserves, voted on by the league’s coaches, will be revealed Jan. 28.