LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has called for fans to overlook him for this year’s NBA All-Star Game, according to sources in the U.S.
The point-guard has struggled greatly with injury this season and, having recovered from the Achilles tendon injury which saw him sidelined for seven months, was involved in an on-court accident that means he is likely to be out until at least the end of this month.
As such Bryant’s ability to impact upon the Lakers season has been extremely limited, and the 35-year-old himself has called for fans to choose Portland Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard as the All-Star point guard.
The one-time MVP allegedly said: “I probably won't be able to come back (to the Lakers) soon enough to be able to make my stamp or be able to make my mark on a game. So my advice would be to focus on younger players, the Damian Lillards of the world, because they're more than deserving to be out there and playing that weekend.”
Bryant is reportedly the leading vote-getter in the Western Conference at the minute with 723,031 votes, despite only having played six times this season.
His absence has greatly affected the Lakers season, with the Los Angeles outfit currently owning a record of 14-20.
Even if Bryant can once again defy doctors and return injury-free before the expected date, it looks as though it will be an uphill battle for Mike D'Antoni’s side to reach the playoffs.