The NBA announced the starting lineups for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, and a familiar face will be starting at guard for the Western Conference. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has been named an All-Star starter for the 14th time in his illustrious career, and for the 13th consecutive season.
Bryant received the most votes in the Western Conference, the fifth straight season he has led the conference in votes received. The 33-year old Bryant is leading the NBA in scoring this season at 30.0 points per game. Bryant has played in 12 All-Star games in his career, missing the 2010 contest with a sprained left ankle.
Kobe is a four-time All-Star MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011) and with 244 career points in the midseason classic, he is 18 points shy of Michael Jordan's all-time All-Star scoring record.
Kobe will be joined by teammate Andrew Bynum, who outpolled all other centers in the Western Conference by a wide margin. It is the first All-Star appearance for Bynum, 24, who is averaging career highs with 16.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per contest this season. Bynum is the 28th Lakers player ever to be named to an All-Star team.
Bryant and Bynum will be joined by fellow Staples Center tenants Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, who were also named starters, giving Los Angeles four of the five Western Conference starters. Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the fifth starter for the West.
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 26, 2012 at Amway Center in Orlando. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.