NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (1,591,437) edged the Miami Heat's LeBron James (1,583,646) as this year's leading vote-getter in the 2013 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint, earning his record 15th consecutive All-Star nod. Bryant breaks a tie with Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal for the most consecutive NBA All-Star selections. A four-time Kia NBA All-Star MVP (2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011), Bryant holds the distinction as the youngest All-Star in NBA history (1998, when he was 19 years old). In last year's All-Star Game in Orlando, he passed Michael Jordan as the game's all-time scoring leader.
The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 (8 p.m. ET), televised exclusively on TNT and broadcast exclusively on ESPN Radio in the U.S. The All-Star Game will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
Bryant's partner at the guard position in the Western Conference starting lineup is the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul (929,155). The West's starting frontcourt features the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (1,504,047), the reigning Kia NBA All-Star MVP, the Lakers' Dwight Howard (922,070), and the Clippers' Blake Griffin (863,832).
Joining James, a two-time Kia NBA All-Star MVP (2006, 2008), in the Eastern Conference frontcourt are the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (1,460,950) and the Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett (553,222), the 2003 Kia NBA All-Star MVP. The East guards are the Heat's Dwyane Wade (1,052,310), the 2010 Kia NBA All-Star MVP, and the Celtics' Rajon Rondo (924,180), who earns his first All-Star Game start. Garnett's selection, his 15th, ties him with Bryant and O'Neal for the second-most All-Star Game nods in league annals. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was elected to 19 games.
The 2013 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint, which concluded Jan. 14, gave fans around the world the opportunity to vote daily for their favorite players as starters for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston. For the first time, NBA fans were able to vote via social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ in China.
In selecting the reserves, the 30 NBA head coaches must vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their team. After the coaches select the reserves, if a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select a replacement. Reserves will be announced Jan. 24, on TNT.
The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 3. Thunder coach Scott Brooks and the Chicago Bulls' Tom Thibodeau, by virtue of having served as head coaches in the 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando, are not eligible to coach in this year's game.
TNT will televise the All-Star Game for an 11th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 29th year of All-Star coverage. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2013 will include the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, NBA Development League All-Star Game, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and NBA All-Star Jam Session. Houston also hosted NBA All-Star in 2006 and 1989.