The latest NBA All-Star voting tallies have been released, and unsurprisingly, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has more votes than anyone else. Bryant has more than 18% more votes than the next-leading vote getter in the NBA, center Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. If the voting results hold up as currently constructed, Bryant would be joined by teammate Pau Gasol in the starting lineup for the Western Conference on their home floor at Staples Center on Sunday, February 20, 2011.â†µ
Bryant has 722,682 votes so far, almost double the next guard in the West, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. Kobe has been named starter for 11 straight All-Star games, and 12 of the last 13, although he missed last year's contest while nursing an injury.â†µ
Gasol has made three All-Star teams, including each of the last two seasons, but never as a starter. Gasol is listed as a forward on the ballot even though he has started all 26 games this season at center, all but two while waiting for Andrew Bynum to return. Gasol has 390,808 votes, second among forwards in the West, a narrow 11,000-vote lead over Carmelo Anthony, who may not even be in the conference by the time the All-Star Game comes around. Kevin Durant leads Western forwards with 470,881 votes.â†µ
Bynum, who has played all of two games this season, ranks second among centers in the West, although he is far behind Yao Ming of the Rockets. Paper balloting will continue through January 17, while online voting will continue through January 23. Starters for the All-Star game will be announced on TNT on January 27.â†µ
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