2016 NBA All Star Starters revealed: Two surprise names sneak in final cut, Bryant leading vote-getter

Kobe Bryant will make one last appearance for the Western Conference, as NBA fans overwhelmingly voted the 20-year veteran as a starter for the 2016 NBA All Star Game in Toronto, Canada on February 14.

Hometown favorite Kyle Lowry makes his second straight start for the East in a close finish, while Kawhi Leonard pulled through as the West’s last starter in his All Star game debut.

Bryant, who makes his 18th selection in the mid-season classic, garnered a total of 1,891,614 votes and is projected to make his first All Star start since 2013, after relinquishing his starting spot in the last two years due to injuries.

Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry of the Western Conference is not too far behind among the leaders, garnering a total of 1,604,325 votes. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James leads the Eastern Conference starters with 1,089,206.

Other names that made the cut for the Eastern Conference includes Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (12th selection), Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (third selection), and Carmelo Anthony (ninth selection).

Rounding out the Western Conference starters were Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant (seventh selection) and Russell Westbrook (second selection), the 2014 All Star Game most valuable player.

Two players were initially projected to make the starting bid – Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors – were narrowly defeated by Leonard and Lowry, respectively, in the days leading to the poll’s closing last Friday.

According to Chris O’Leary of The Toronto Star, Irving led Lowry by as much as 32,000 votes in the second to the last round of ballot returns heading into the final week of voting through and various social media platforms, using the hashtag #NBAVote.

However, Lowry (646,441) managed to go past Irving for the last backcourt spot over Irving (580,651) at the final tally.

On the other hand, Green amassed 499,947 votes a week before the final week. However, both Leonard (782,339) and a surprise candidate in Dallas Mavericks center Zaza Pachulia (768,112) resulted in Green (726,616) getting the boot.

Here is the full final tally of the All Star fan selection:

Eastern Conference
1 LeBron James (Cle) 1,089,206
2 Paul George (Ind) 711,595
3 Carmelo Anthony (NY) 567,348
4 Pau Gasol (Chi) 566,988
5 Andre Drummond (Det) 515,296
6 Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 473,579
7 Chris Bosh (Mia) 351,420
8 Kevin Love (Cle) 332,685
9 Hassan Whiteside (Mia) 301,362
10 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 84,617
11 Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 73,079
12 Joakim Noah (Chi) 48,509
13 DeMarre Carroll (Tor) 46,044
14 Marcin Gortat (Was) 43,496
15 Paul Millsap (Atl) 41,654

1 Dwyane Wade (Mia) 941,466
2 Kyle Lowry (Tor) 646,441
3 Kyrie Irving (Cle) 580,651
4 Jimmy Butler (Chi) 564,637
5 DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 444,868
6 John Wall (Was) 368,686
7 Derrick Rose (Chi) 302,389
8 Jeremy Lin (Cha) 195,920
9 Isaiah Thomas (Bos) 153,642
10 Reggie Jackson (Det) 76,688

Western Conference
1 Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,891,614
2 Kevin Durant (OKC) 980,787
3 Kawhi Leonard (SA) 782,339
4 Zaza Pachulia (Dal) 768,112
5 Draymond Green (GS) 726,616
6 Blake Griffin (LAC) 651,860
7 Enes Kanter (OKC) 534,499
8 Tim Duncan (SA) 431,087
9 Anthony Davis (NO) 400,688
10 DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 364,270
11 DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 269,427
12 LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 268,003
13 Dwight Howard (Hou) 219,761
14 Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 173,317
15 Harrison Barnes (GS) 155,289

1 Stephen Curry (GS) 1,604,325
2 Russell Westbrook (OKC) 772,009
3 Chris Paul (LAC) 624,334
4 Klay Thompson (GS) 555,513
5 James Harden (Hou) 430,777
6 Manu Ginobili (SA) 226,289
7 Rajon Rondo (Sac) 200,518
8 Tony Parker (SA) 195,472
9 Andre Iguodala (GS) 181,142
10 Damian Lillard (Por) 158,360

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