Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard Among Leaders In West All-Star Voting
The Los Angeles Lakers may be 9-13 on the season and in 12th place in the Western Conference coming into the matchup with the New York Knicks on Thursday night, but the early tallying in the All-Star voting doesn’t reflect the Lakers rough start to the 2012-13 NBA campaign with Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard leading the voting in the West along with Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Kobe currently leads all players in the West with 639,419 votes with Durant not far behind with 605,965. Dwight is second among frontcourt players in the West behind Durant with 434,168 votes. Howard recently appeared in parody mocking the NBA’s new rule about centers being taken off the All-Star ballot. Ironic considering the rule basically won’t impact his status as an All-Star as he’s always among the leaders in voting every single season.
Ironically enough, despite all the talk of poor play and an inability to fit Mike D’Antoni’s system, Pau Gasol is currently fifth among frontcourt players in the West behind Durant, Howard, Blake Griffin (307,855) and Tim Duncan (189,577) with 139,868.
Perhaps the most surprising Laker to receive a considerable amount of votes in the early voting returns is Steve Nash. Despite only playing a game and a half for the Lakers so far this season, due to a leg fracture injury suffered in the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 31, Nash has received 118,073 votes.
Nash is currently sixth in the All-Star voting for West backcourt players ahead of Tony Parker (69.983), Ricky Rubio (54,744), Manu Ginobili (47,800) and O.J. Mayo (36,495). Rubio is also a big surprise having yet to play a game for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, but eighth on the list of backcourt players in the West.
Another player that has yet to play a game this season, but is already in the top 10 in the Eastern Conference frontcourt voting is former Laker Andrew Bynum. The starting center for the West last season has dealt with knee problems yet again with no timetable set for his return, but that hasn’t prevented the recently traded center from receiving 68,596 which is ninth among frontcourt players in the East.