Right Now, Kobe Only Laker All Star

The team is 18-3 but only one guy deserves to be an All Star? Really?

The first results from the NBA’s All Star fan balloting are out and only one Laker is in the starting five, and maybe just one will make the team.

Just as everyone expected, Kobe Bryant leads all vote getters in the West from his guard spot. He’s second overall in vote getting behind center Dwight Howard in the East. But that’s not really fair, the second-best center in the East is Samuel Dalembert, so everybody with a brain votes for Howard.

Pau Gasol has been the best Laker player over the past two weeks, but he is fifth in the voting in a Western Conference stacked with good forwards. Anybody who has watched the Lakers this season knows Gasol is playing at an All Star level --  he’s a key part of an 18-3 team, averages 18.0 points per game while shooting 57%, and adds 9.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest.

The problem? Here are the four vote getters ahead of him: Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony (who scored 33 in on quarter last night) and Dirk Nowitzki. Pretty tough group to leapfrog. Hopefully the Western Conference coach (hello Mr. Jackson, can I call you Phil?) can help out here with an appointment.

Andrew Bynum is currently third among Western Conference centers. He’s not going to catch leader Yao Ming, who hails from a country where people’s home computers are seemingly allowed to log on to only one international Web page, the NBA All Star ballot.

But what about that second spot? Right now Bynum is about 6,500 votes behind Utah’s Mehmet Okur. Seriously, who are you going to take when picking teams on the playground, Bynum or Okur? Exactly. This is one where the young Laker should get to his first of many career All Star games this year. Unless the people of Turkey start stuffing the ballot box.

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