By ALex Lambeth of LakerNation
Bryant earns his record-breaking 15th straight All-Star selection, while Howard earns his seventh straight selection, despite the elimination of the center position on the ballot.
The Los Angeles Lakers will fill two of the five positions on the 2013 Western Conference All-Star team. SG Kobe Bryant and C Dwight Howard have been selected to represent the Western Conference in this year’s All-Star game in Houston, Texas on February 17th.
Bryant, the overall leader in fan votes with 1,591,437, will appear in his 15th straight All-Star game. This consecutive All-Star selections mark breaks the tie he shared with Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O’Neal.
Although Bryant was practically a “shoe-in” selection like usual, Howard’s selection was a little less certain. This season, the NBA decided to eliminate the center position from the ballot altogether; the league cited the recent change in traditional positions, in which the center position has become relatively archaic.
Howard received 922,070 fan votes, eclipsed only by the Thunder’s Kevin Durant in the West’s frontcourt.
Bryant, playing in his 17th season, is a 4-time All-Star MVP. Howard, the number one overall draft pick in the 2004 draft, will make his seventh straight appearance as an All-Star center since his first selection in 2007.
Other notables: PF Pau Gasol finished fifth in frontcourt balloting with 310,845 votes. Fellow point guard Steve Nash came in sixth among Western Conference guards with 270,741.
Bryant and Howard will be joined by two of their co-tenant Clippers, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, in the West’s starting lineup. Kevin Durant will be the third frontcourt player to make up the 2013 Western Conference starting lineup.