Unsurprisingly, after two rounds of NBA All-Star voting returns Kobe Bryant is the leading vote-getter amongst Western Conference guards (you can thank Laker Nation for that), although he has only played in six games so far this season.
Even when he played he looked a shell of his former self which is more than understandable seeing as he’s been sidelined for a lengthy amount of time after suffering a gruesome Achilles injury last year.
So with that and the fact that Kobe is once again sidelined due to a knee injury in mind, the Lakers guard has come out and said that he would prefer that the other young and talented players at his position a la Damian Lillard, get the chance to perform at the all-star game in his place. Via Greg Beachem of the Associated Press.
”Even though there’s so much respect that comes from me to be able to play for the fans, I’d much rather see the young guys go out there and play in the game,” Bryant said before the Lakers faced Denver on Sunday night. ”They’ve obviously put the work in to be there that weekend, so I’d much rather see them go in there and participate.”
”That’s obviously a sensitive topic for me personally, because you want to feel like you deserve to be in the game and play,” Bryant said. ”But then there’s the other side of the argument where you’ve put in a lot of work over the years, and (if) fans vote you in, you want to go out there and show your appreciation and respect to them. I think it’s always a delicate balance, but from where I come from, I really enjoy watching what the young guys are doing and how they’re performing.”
Lakers fans probably won’t listen to Bryant’s plight seeing as they’re so blinded by their admiration for him but it would be the right thing to do.