The NBA released the first batch of All-Star ballot returns on Thursday, and the Los Angeles Lakers figure to be well represented at Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday, February 26. Kobe Bryant leads all Western Conference players in votes, poised to be named a starter for the 13th consecutive season, while Andrew Bynum has a massive lead over Western Conference centers.
Bryant, who currently leads the league in scoring at 30.3 points per game, has received 690,613 votes, making him the top guard in the West. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers has received 540,173 votes, with Ricky Rubio a distant third among western guards at 133,520 votes. Bryant is a 13-time All-Star and has been named All-Star Game MVP four times, including last season.
Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic leads all vote-getters in the NBA with 754,737 votes, looking to start his fifth consecutive All-Star contest.
Bynum has averaged 17.1 points and 13.9 rebounds thus far for the Lakers, and has received 496,597 votes to lead all west centers. DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers is second among pivot men with 134,961 votes. Pau Gasol is fourth among Western Conference forwards with 185,428 votes. Gasol has made four All-Star Games in his career, including each of the last three years, his three full seasons with the Lakers.
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