NBA All Star 2016 is just around the corner and it also happens to be Kobe Bryant’s last
Should Kobe Bryant start for the West team this coming NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto? This has been a hotly debated topic among fans and pundits alike for many weeks now. The All-Star Game has always been about celebrating the best players in the first half of a season. Kobe though hasn’t exactly been the player he once was.
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently dead last in the East with an 8-29 record. In terms of his individual performance, Kobe has been pretty inconsistent. There are games where he scores 20 or more but those are few and far between now. Although he’s averaging a respectable yet inefficient 17.6 points per game on 6 of 17 shooting. For those without calculators, that’s a career low .348 field goal percentage.
Respect Accorded To The Greats
Even with his current performance, people are still voting for Kobe to be part of the NBA All-Star 2016 festivities. A popular argument for his inclusion is his contribution to the sport. Great players like Magic and MJ were also given All-Star berths when they decided to retire. If this were the case, why not Kobe?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 8, 2016
The problem with this argument though is that there were other great players who weren’t given the same respect. Who remembers Hakeem Olajuwon being given a spot on the West team in 01-02? How about Larry Bird’s retirement in 1992? Did the NBA give him a chance to cement his legacy by allowing him to play in the All-Star game that year?
Will We See A Competitive Kobe?
Considering that it’s his last year in the NBA, it’s understandable that Kobe goes out with a bang. And for a competitor like him, there’s no bigger stage to go out with than the All-Star game. People want to see Kobe in Toronto for NBA All Star 2016. As of now, he’s the leading overall vote-getter with about 1.2 million votes.
Kobe Bryant leads all players in All-Star voting with 1,262,118 votes. pic.twitter.com/VpM5SyB33A
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 7, 2016
Not that I have anything against Kobe, but does he really deserve an All-Star berth? The only reason why I really want to see him is his competitiveness. If he could somehow find his legs for his last All-Star game then the fans would have been right in voting for him. However, if he’ll only come up with a 6-17 shooting night then it would really suck.
NBA All Star 2016 First Timers To Look Out For
Though Kobe’s inclusion will be a boon, the 2016 All Star Game isn’t really lacking star power. Stephen Curry has been outstanding all season long and will undoubtedly start as one of two guards for the West. Lebron James is still the leading in the West and it would be interesting how he’ll play against Kobe in their last All-Star game.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 7, 2016
Kawhi Leonard is also another name that is sure to generate buzz. In fact, I think that this would be the day that NBA fans will recognize the Spurs forward. Like Kobe, Leonard is a consummate competitor who revels in defense and offense. Unlike the Black Mamba, the Klaw is stoic and plays a more team-oriented style. He’s also one of the few players in the league who could make life difficult for Lebron James. The only problem though is that he only has about 330,929 votes. In order to be a starter for the West team, he’ll need to go past Draymond Green’s 332,223.
What are your thoughts regarding Kobe Bryant starting for the Western Conference in the 2016 All Star Game in Toronto? Do you think he deserves to start based on his performance in previous years? Be sure to share your thoughts on the Black Mamba’s NBA All-Star 2016 inclusion this year on the comments section.