Kobe Bryant was selected by fans as a starter for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto it was announced today, his 18th selection (2nd-most all-time) and record-setting 18th consecutive time as an All-Star. Bryant was the leading vote-getter for the fourth time in his career (also 2003, 2011, and 2013) and was named a starter for the 16th time, the most in NBA All-Star Game history.
A four-time All-Star MVP in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011 (tied with Bob Pettit for most all-time), Bryant holds All-Star Game records for most points scored (280), most field goals made (115), and most steals (37, tied with Michael Jordan). In his very first All-Star Weekend in 1997, Bryant became the youngest slam dunk champion at 18 years old.
Bryant, who announced he would be retiring from basketball at the end of the season, has earned numerous accolades over the span of his 20-year career – all spent with the Lakers franchise, the most in NBA history. A five-time NBA Champion, Bryant was selected as the NBA MVP in 2007-08 and won the NBA Finals MVP award in 2009 and 2010. Bryant earned All-NBA honors 15 times and has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team 12 times. Internationally, the 37-year-old led the United States to gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 Olympics in London.