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Adam Silver says Kobe Bryant ‘Deserves’ to Play in All-Star Game

Charles Fox/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

It’s been well-documented that Kobe Bryant isn’t having a good season as he wraps up his illustrious 20-year NBA career. But as poorly as Bryant is playing, NBA commissioner Adam Silver still believes the Los Angeles Lakers legend “deserves” a spot in the All-Star Game.

Silver gave his reasoning via an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Friday (h/t to SB Nation):

“I hope to see him there. I think he deserves to be there. He’s going to retire as one of the NBA’s greatest players. Even beyond his play on the floor, he’s played as great a role as anyone in the international expansion of the game. Right now, I’d say in China there’s still Kobe and [then there’s] everyone else.”

Now, obviously Bryant doesn’t “deserve” to be there based on his play this year. He’s been one of the worst players in the league.

That being said, it seems like a guarantee that Bryant will get voted in as a starter thanks to his legion of fans across the world. And considering this is his last year, that’s totally fine. You can argue he “deserves” one more All-Star Game appearance given what he’s meant to the league across his career.

What would be nice to see is an extra roster spot open up for the Western Conference so a more deserving player doesn’t get left off assuming Bryant gets voted in. That would be a nice compromise, but it remains to be seen how this will be handled. All-Star voting just began this week, so we’re still waiting to see the early returns.

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