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Feb 09

All Star weekend: A Preview

The quickly approaching All-Star weekend looks set to be one of the best ever as Bryant continues to be a record breaker.

Votes were counted last month and the squads were announced, and it sees Kobe Bryant, always a favourite with those who bet on the NBA with Paddy Power, earn a record 15th straight All-Star run on the 17th February.

Bryant just loves to break records. He became the youngest All-Star in history when he was selected as a 19-year-old in 1998 and last year he surpassed the all time leading-scorer Michael Jordan in the prestigious All-Star match-up.

Voted for by fans all over the world, Bryant received 1,591,437 votes, edging LeBron James with 1,583,646, as the highest voted player.
The two will go head to head with James representing the East and Bryant the West.
Supported by last year’s All-Star game MVP, Kevin Durrant, who got 1,504,047 votes, Bryant will be hoping he can play another vital role as the Western Conference look for their third consecutive win.

The popularity contest that selects the sides is controversial, as players who are on good form can be overlooked because of the cult hero status players have. In any sport there will be favorite players and whether this is the best way to select  the starters is debatable, as the method for the selection of the reserves is more relevant. The coach selection of the reserves is appropriate and could work with the starters, but would the line-ups be much different anyway?

The line-up this campaign sees both of the rosters looking solid, perhaps with the advantage in the basketball betting odds handed to the West, but generally without too many talking points.

Another aspect of the weekend is the NBA All Star  Game Slam Dunk, and the roster has recently been announced. Utah Jazz’s Jeremy Evans will be looking to do what the likes of Nate Robinson and Michael Jordan have done in the past, and retain the title, after only being announced as a competitor when he replaced the injured Iman Shumpert last year.
The weekend is already a star-studded event, but even more so with the recently reunited Fall Out Boy, Ellie Goulding and Alicia Keys, who sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl, all performing during the All-Star Game.