After showcasing plenty of star power in their storied history, the Lakers have mostly fielded a roster of nameless players.
Couple that reality with the Lakers’ persistent losing, and they won’t feature any players in the NBA All-Star game for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
Kobe Bryant was voted to start in what would’ve become his 15th All-Star appearance despite appearing in only six games because of a injured left Achilles tendon and then a fractured left knee. But with Bryant expected to be sidelined for at least three more weeks, Bryant isn’t healthy enough even to make a token appearance.
No other Lakers were named to the Western Conference All-Star roster, despite boasting two likely future Hall of Famers in Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.
Nash, who has made eight All-Star appearances, has played only six games because of persisting nerve issues in his back and hamstring. Gasol, who has four All-Star appearances, averaged a 16.9 points on 46.7 percent shooting but he had gotten off to a slow start for a myriad of reasons, including various health ailments, inconsistent aggressiveness and poor conditioning.
Among one of the first acts for Adam Silver in taking over the NBA Commissioner role after David Stern retires on Saturday will involve selecting Bryant’s replacement, possibly New Orleans guard Anthony Davis. The Western Conference starters will include Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, the Clippers Blake Griffin and Minnesota’s Kevin Love. The Eastern Conference starters will include Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Indiana’s Paul George and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving.
The NBA announced on Thursday who will fill out the reserves list, which was determined by the league’s coaches. Those will include the Clippers’ Chris Paul, Houston’s Dwight Howard and James Harden, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki. The Eastern Conference reserves will feature Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Chicago’s Joakim Noah, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Washington’s John Wall, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, and Miami’s Chris Bosh.
Lakers rookie forward Ryan Kelly also failed to get a nod for the Feb. 14 Rising Stars Challenge, which features the league’s top first- and second-year players Kelly has averaged 11.2 points and four rebounds since starting for the Lakers in the past six games.
The Lakers have fielded zero All-Stars only five other times in franchise story. Cedric Ceballos missed the 1995 NBA All-Star game because of an injury, while no Lakers were selected for the All-Star game in 1978, 1993, 1994 and 1996.
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